Lumpectomy Affects Breast Sensuality Less Than Other Surgery Types


Research conducted through Women & Infants Hospital looked at correlations between types of breast surgery for cancer, and sexual function. It was determined that both breast-specific sensuality, and satisfaction with breast appearance were better following lumpectomies, than other surgery modalities.

“In an era where we see more early-staged breast cancer patients choosing mastectomy, no study has previously addressed breast specific sensuality, defined as the breast's role during intimacy,” said researcher Dr Jennifer S. Gass. “We explored breast-specific sensuality and sexual function among women who underwent lumpectomy, mastectomy alone, or mastectomy with reconstruction and analyzed the association of surgical modality with sexual function.”

The study’s goal was to explore the longterm appearance and sexual consequences of breast surgery. To achieve this, the investigators surveyed women who’d undergone surgery for invasive breast cancer. The questionnaire covered the women’s satisfaction - before and after treatment - with breast appearance, their comfort with uncovered breasts being seen by a partner, and the importance placed on the breast during intimate relations.

“We hypothesized that outside of overall sexual function, breast-specific sensuality is an important aspect of women diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Dr. Gass. “Our results demonstrated that when asked to recall their experiences before surgery, most women viewed their breasts as integral to intimacy. We now find that in survivorship, women report that breast-specific sensuality is significantly decreased regardless of the surgical modality, but that lumpectomy has the best-reported outcomes.”

Today, many women are successfully treated for early stage breast cancer, and may live decades with the consequences of their surgeries. Gass and colleagues hope their findings will help guide surgical counseling to ensure optimal post-treatment quality of life.

“There is no doubt that overall survival is our number one priority, but ensuring a good quality of life for cancer survivors is also vital, and that includes a 'breast-inclusive' perspective of sexuality in survivorship,” says Dr. Gass.

Source: Women & Infants Hospital
Photo credit: mrhayata/Flickr


The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational purposes and does not constitute the practice of medicine. We encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician or nutritionist if they have any concerns regarding health issues related to diet, personal image and any other topics discussed on this site. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.


Why Did You Visit This Site?
I am looking for a breast surgeon
A friend or family member is looking for breast surgery
Just Looking for Information
Total votes: 259

User Login

We Also Recommend