Archivi categoria: Sessualità e tumore

La sessualità della donna dopo il tumore al seno

La risposta emotiva di una donna al tumore mammario inizia nel momento in cui riceve la diagnosi. I dati indicano che l’incredulità e la disperazione sono le prime reazioni emotive provate dalle pazienti; inoltre, una volta informati i propri cari della notizia, il loro stato emotivo peggiora poiché la percezione del dolore altrui aumenta il senso d’impotenza.

Successivamente arriva il momento di agire sulla malattia e di affidarsi al personale sanitario, con la consapevolezza che una volta iniziato il percorso terapeutico, inizierà la ripresa. I progressi della diagnosi precoce, delle tecniche chirurgiche e dei trattamenti medici si traducono oggi in tempi di sopravvivenza più lunghi per i pazienti oncologici.

Quando nella vita di una persona irrompe il tumore, le donne vivono una crisi esistenziale che mette in discussione la loro identità, i loro valori e la loro progettualità di vita. La crisi è resa ancor più dolorosa dalle trasformazioni fisiche determinate dai trattamenti oncologici che possono portare all’insorgenza di problemi nelle aree dell’immagine corporea, del funzionamento di coppia e sessuale, con peggioramento della qualità di vita.

Sexual pain in women: quality of sex life and marital relations

Common gynecological and dermatological conditions resulting in sexual pain are often observed in gynecological prac-
tice and are easily diagnosed with visual observation and laboratory tests. The lower genital tract diseases we are refer-
ring to are vaginitis, vaginoses, dermatoses, hypoestrogenism and endometriosis. All of them affect the vaginal mucosa
with diverse mechanisms, their effects lasting for only few days or many months. Furthermore, they change the women’s
sense of wellbeing sometimes significantly and for a long period. The conditions we mentioned above are recognized
promptly with basic gynecological interventions but when burning or sharp pain occurs with light pressure (as in case of
penetration attempts) without physical signs we must suspect the genitopelvic pain penetration disorder. This condition
was defined for the first time in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 and its dimensions include
difficulty or pain at penetration associated with fear, anxiety, and pelvic floor hypertonus. Pain is most often localized at
the vulvar vestibule and described as burning, pressure, and itching. These dimensions are iconic of sexual pain associ-
ated with vulvodyina and vaginismus but are common also in fibromyalgia, a syndrome of widespread chronic pain of
unknown origin; sexual pain in fibromyalgia is mostly attributed both to the joint pathology and to the lower sensitive
threshold that are the pathognomonic signs of this condition. In our study we analyzed the characteristics of pain as re-
ported for each disease to evaluate its influence on sexuality and marital relations.

The sex life of women surviving breast cancer

ABSTRACT

The diagnosis of breast cancer elicits diverse emotional responses in patients and partners. Surviving cancer
has raised new needs and caretakers must understand the medical and psychological latent effects of
oncology therapy. Improving patients’ well-being is crucial as 19 million survivors are expected in the
next decade in the United States alone.

In general, sexuality contributes to one’s well-being but when it is
disrupted by the occurrence of cancer, women withdraw emotionally, no longer feel desirable due to
esthetic damage, and become overwhelmed by the thought of sex. Alopecia and mastectomy elicit feelings
of unattractiveness affecting even some women with nipple sparing mastectomy. Couples who share
the psychological distress of experiencing cancer should be logically included in survivorship interventions.
Hence, any support offered to the couple improves their ability to cope significantly. Treatments
causing premature ovarian failure as well as adjuvant endocrine treatments deepen the effects of hypoestrogenism
on the genital modifications of arousal. Sexual rehabilitation with vaginal dilators and sensate
focus exercises help to lessen pain, and reduce the couple’s anxiety toward sex.

In conclusion, caregivers
must realize that surviving women are often reluctant to voice their needs, thus, efficient interventions
must be available to everyone.