ArticlesIntimacy and Sexuality for the Woman With Breast CancerHordern, Amanda R.N., B.N., Grad.Dip.Ed., M.Ed., M.R.C.N.A.Author Information Amanda Hordern developed and coordinates the Breast Cancer Distance Education Program, a collaborative course for registered nurses run by the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria and La Trobe University. She is also the Nurse Educator for the Cancer Information Service and a Nurse Counselor at the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria, Australia. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Amanda Hordern, 1 Rathdowne Street, Carlton South, 3053 Australia. Accepted for publication October 11, 1999. Cancer Nursing: June 2000 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 230-236 Buy Abstract Human sexuality is more than sexual function. It is an ever-changing lived experience affecting the manner in which we view ourselves and our bodies. Most health professionals fail to address sexuality in the clinical setting and feel more comfortable focusing on treatment outcomes, such as the management of treatment side effects, than in addressing issues related to sexual behavior. Perhaps this is because many health professionals are uncomfortable about initiating a topic regarding a person’s sexuality, or because they are unsure of their knowledge relating to changes in a person’s sexuality after the management of cancer. Cultural issues in our society, such as the myth that older women with breast cancer are no longer interested in sexuality and intimacy, and the presumption that issues of survival overshadow sexuality, provide barriers to open communication about sexuality in women with breast cancer. Sexuality in the patient with breast cancer needs to be addressed by the nurse irrespective of the woman’s age, partnership, and disease status. Knowledge related to changes in a woman’s sexuality and intimacy after the management of breast cancer are explored, and strategies are provided for the nurse to use in communicating openly about sexuality in the clinical setting. © 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.