Sexual dysfunction in young women with breast cancer
Kennedy, Kelly Stidham
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Women diagnosed with breast cancer have significantly more sexual problems than healthy women without any major illness. Young women with breast cancer are especially vulnerable to sexual problems, including sexual arousal and lower frequency of sexual behaviors. These problems are often due to surgical treatment and premature menopause, psychological distress, or issues related to their relationship with their partner. This cross-sectional study examines 106 young women (aged 24-50) with breast cancer to determine the biopsychosocial correlates and predictors of sexual dysfunction. Descriptive statistics, correlations, and hierarchical regression analyses revealed that higher education (p = .01), more menopausal symptoms (p = .00), breast reconstruction (p = .00), and higher relationship satisfaction (p = .01) were the strongest predictors of sexual dysfunction. Results suggest that interventions are needed to improve psychosexual adjustment in young women with breast cancer.