Will I Be Sexually Attractive After Mastectomy?

Dr. Massie answers the question: 'Will I Still Be Sexy Post-Mastectomy?'

ByABC News
September 25, 2007, 3:24 PM

— -- Question: Will I still be sexually attractive to my partner after mastectomy?

Answer: How attractive will I be sexually after mastectomy, is a question that almost a hundred percent of women who are sexually active ask. I think that women often have not very good understanding about how they will look after mastectomy or perhaps not very good understanding about how really excellent reconstructive techniques are today. Most women tell me months later or years later that their anxiety about their sexual desirability after mastectomy was hugely overblown and overrated.

Most women say that if they're in a good relationship with a husband or with a partner, that relationship persists. We develop a lot of scars as we age -- emotional scars and physical scars -- and many women say to me, you know, we were able to incorporate this change in me and my body very, very beautifully.

The woman who is between partners at the time of diagnosis or who hasn't started having sexual relationships prior to the time of her breast cancer diagnosis often has very real concerns, significant concerns about what her desirability will be. My experience has been over the many years that these fears exist in women's minds, and virtually all women are able to find partners who say it isn't your breasts that I'm interested in being with, it's you.

It's the all of you. New partners often say to a woman, I'm so sorry about what you've been through; I only wish that I had known you before so I could have helped you go through that process.

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