Determination of Changes in the Sexual Lives of Young Women Receiving Breast Cancer Treatment: A Qualitative Study

CEBECİ F., Yangin H. B., Tekeli A.

SEXUALITY AND DISABILITY, vol.28, no.4, pp.255-264, 2010 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11195-010-9169-1
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.255-264
  • Keywords: Breast cancer, Sexual changes, Sexual life, Turkey, BODY-IMAGE, SURVIVORS
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


This qualitative study was performed to identify changes in the sexual lives of young women receiving breast cancer treatment. The study was conducted with eight exclusively self-defined heterosexual married women whose breast cancer treatments were ongoing in the ambulatory chemotherapy unit. The data were collected through semi-structured and in-depth individual interviews. All interviews were tape-recorded. The raw results were obtained by analyzing the content of the recorded data. In this study, the subject of the interviews was penile-vaginal intercourse, as the participants perceived sexuality as equivalent to penile-vaginal intercourse. The changes in the sexual lives of young women receiving breast cancer treatment were analyzed according to three themes as follows: (1) intermittent penile-vaginal intercourse, (2) sexual activity initiated by the male and (3) sexual dysfunction. This study assists health professionals in recognizing changes in young women's sexual lives. Thus, healthcare professionals can provide couples with appropriate counseling to promote healthier sexuality and maintain a higher quality of life.