Follow Us Here:

Cancer Knowledge Network

Cancer Knowledge Network and Current Oncology are proudly published by Multimed Inc.
Advocate - Educate - Innovate

Tag Archives: Lillie Shockney

Female Sexuality Issues Post Cancer Treatment

Comments from Jennifer Luce, Living with Cancer


by Lillie D Shockney, RN., BS., MAS

Breast cancer remains the most feared disease of all women. There are perhaps many reasons for this however a compelling one is the fact that sexuality and body image are known to be psychologically connected to women’s breasts. Altering them by the required surgical interventions needed to treat breast cancer can cause tremendous anxiety and concern. Additionally, there are still women alive today who have endured a Halsted radical mastectomy, which was truly a debilitating and disfiguring surgical procedure for breast cancer treatment for more than a century. This procedure was commonly performed immediately following a surgical breast biopsy performed on the patient in the operating room with general anesthesia. The surgeon would send the biopsy specimen to pathology while the woman remained asleep. If it was positive for cancer then he would proceed in doing a Halsted radical mastectomy which included the removal of the entire breast, both pectoral major and minor muscles, scraping the ribs, and dissecting all of the lymph nodes in the armpit area, down to the lung cavity area. No reconstruction was performed. It was also common to need to take skin from her back or buttocks to be able to close the chest wound. The patient would awaken in the recovery room to then learn that she had breast cancer and that her breast and underlying anatomic tissues were gone.

Continue reading