Young female breast cancer survivors: their sexual function and interest in sexual enhancement products and services

Cancer Nurs. Nov-Dec 2008;31(6):417-25. doi: 10.1097/01.NCC.0000339252.91194.6c.


Although American women are living longer after a breast cancer diagnosis, they may experience significant alterations in sexual function. However, little is known about the types of strategies that women are interested in using to address these sexual issues. This study used a reliable and valid instrument, the Sexual Function Questionnaire, to assess survivors' sexual function. Data were collected from 115 women who were younger than 50 years at diagnosis. Compared to normative controls, survivors scored significantly lower, indicating lower functioning, on most subscales of the Sexual Function Questionnaire and the overall measure, with the exception of the masturbation subscale on which they scored significantly higher. Most participants indicated moderate or strong interest in sexual enhancement products and comfort purchasing sexual enhancement products through various venues. Nurses and other health professionals might consider collaborations with entities of the adult retail industry to provide survivors with information about sexual enhancement products and their therapeutic potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Lubrication*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Orgasm*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / prevention & control
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology
  • Sexuality / physiology
  • Sexuality / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival
  • Survivors / psychology
  • Vagina*