Accepting your body again after breast cancer - New York News

Accepting your body again after breast cancer

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(WJBK) - How does a woman return to intimacy after surviving breast cancer? Studies show breast cancer treatment can cause long-term sexual heath damage. But now, there's a growing effort to help women reconnect with their sexual side.
 
"Your mind really, really wants to be sexually active and intimate with your husband or partner but it's really hard," says Mo Keenan Meldrum. She lost her right breast to cancer more than 20 years ago but easily remembers the physical and psychological struggles with sex.
 
"You can't help but watch television and movies and [think], 'Oh, that cleavage looks so good' and oh, you wish you had some. So, it's a hard thing and you can put a lot of pressure on your partner asking for reassurance," she says.

Breast cancer treatment can speed up menopause and, while any illness can affect sexuality, women's breasts are so closely linked to attractiveness that it's particularly problematic.

"They have to allow themselves to grieve and recognize that they aren't going to be exactly how they were before or look exactly the way they did before - but that OK that they can develop a new normal, a new normal way of looking at their body," says Dr. Lisa Chism, the clinical director of the Women's Wellness Clinic at the Karmanos Breast Center.

She explains medicals treatments and counseling are available, but even if spontaneity is gone the sex doesn't have to be.
 
"Given some of the things you have to do to get ready for sexual activity you may need to plan and anticipate, make it a special occasion," says Chism.

Thousands of us are coming together to fight breast cancer at the Komen Race for the Cure at Chene Park on Saturday. You can join us in person or on FOX 2 Saturday morning.

More info: Race for the Cure is June 7th, 2014
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