October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
It's essential to be aware of breast cancer's risks and symptoms and to monitor yourself for any signs of the disease. Be sure to check out as soon as possible if you notice anything concerning you.
There are many ways to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, including being proactive about regular check-ups and screenings. Routine exams also mean that if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you're more likely to catch it in its earliest stages when it's easier to treat.
If you receive a breast cancer diagnosis, you will likely be worried about how many aspects of your life will change, including your sex life. However, there are still plenty of ways to maintain a healthy sex life — even during treatment.
In this article, we will examine how early detection and treatment of breast cancer can help save lives, and discuss some ways to keep your breasts healthy, the sexual side effects of breast cancer and its treatments, and how sex and sex toys can help prevent breast cancer.
Massage and Early Breast Cancer Detection
One way to help detect breast cancer early is to perform regular self-exams. This includes feeling for any lumps or changes in your breast tissue. Nodes are not always indicative of cancer, but it's crucial to have them checked out by a doctor just in case.
By massaging breast tissue regularly, you can become more familiar with how it feels, making it easier to detect any changes. The best time to do a self-massage is after a shower or bath when the skin is lubricated and the tissue is softened. Massage oil may make the process more comfortable and increase the effectiveness of the massage.
Using your fingertips, lightly move around the entire breast in a circular motion, covering the whole area from the collarbone to the underarm and the center of the chest outward. You can also use gentle vertical strokes. Start with light pressure and increase as you feel comfortable. Don't hesitate to consult your doctor if you notice any lumps or changes in your breast tissue.
Early detection is key to successful treatment. By performing regular self-exams and being aware of changes in your body, you can help ensure a healthy future.
Can Sex or Orgasms Help to Prevent Breast Cancer?
While there is no surefire way to prevent breast cancer, some studies suggest that sexual activity may help to lower the risk. There are a few possible mechanisms by which sex or orgasms could help to prevent breast cancer.
Releases oxytocin. One theory is that orgasms release oxytocin, a hormone linked with reduced inflammation. Inflammation is a known risk factor for cancer, so it stands to reason that minimizing inflammation may help to reduce your chances of developing cancer.
Balances hormone levels. Regular sexual activity helps to keep hormone levels in balance. Hormonal imbalance is another potential risk factor for breast cancer, so performing an action that balances your hormones, such as sex and orgasms, may help to reduce your risk. Plus, healthy hormone levels are critical for overall breast health.
- Reduces stress. Sexual activity helps reduce stress levels, potentially reducing the risk of developing breast cancer. When the body is under duress, it releases cortisol, a hormone that can promote the growth of cancerous cells. In addition, stress can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off disease. Though there are no guarantees for breast cancer, reducing stress may help lower the risk.
It's essential to note that these studies are still preliminary, and more research is needed to confirm these findings. Nonetheless, some evidence suggests that a healthy sex life may help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. If you are concerned about developing breast cancer, you should talk to your doctor about ways to mitigate your risk.
Post Breast Cancer Surgery
After breast cancer surgery, it is normal to experience changes in your body. These changes can be physical, emotional, and even sexual.
Breast cancer surgery can cause physical changes such as pain, numbness, swelling, and scarring. These changes can affect your body image and self-esteem and make you feel less desirable. Therefore, it is vital to talk to your doctor about any pain you are experiencing and to find out what treatments are available to help. Some physical changes you may experience after breast cancer surgery are:
Numbness. Numbness is common after breast cancer surgery, especially if the nerves are removed. This numbness can make it difficult to enjoy sexual activity. However, it is essential to remember that the numbness is usually temporary and will eventually disappear.
Swelling. Swelling is also joint after surgery. This swelling can make it difficult to move your arms and may cause pain. Your doctor can prescribe medication to help reduce the swelling.
- Scarring. Scarring is another common side effect of breast cancer surgery. The scarring may be visible on the skin or hidden under the arm. Scarring can affect your body image and make you feel self-conscious. However, there are treatments available to help minimize the appearance of scars.
In addition to physical changes, breast cancer surgery can also cause emotional changes. These changes can include depression, anxiety, and fear. While dynamic changes are expected, you must talk to your doctor if you struggle to cope. You don't have to face these emotions alone.
Some common emotional side effects of breast cancer surgery include:
Depression. Depression is a common emotional side effect of breast cancer surgery. The changes in your body can cause negative feelings about yourself and impact the chemicals in your brain.
Anxiety. Anxiety is another common emotional side effect of breast cancer surgery. The changes in your body can make you feel anxious about your appearance as well as your health. Anxiety can also be the result of worries about cancer returning.
- Fear. Many people experience fear as a response to their cancer diagnosis. This fear can be about cancer itself or the treatment. Leaning on your support system is essential to help you deal with your anxiety.
Sex After Breast Cancer
Sexuality is a complex and multi-dimensional issue that is an integral part of our identity. Cancer and its treatments can often have significant impacts on sexuality, both physical and emotional. Sexual changes after breast cancer surgery are common and ordinary, but they can be challenging.
Some sexual side effects of breast cancer surgery can include:
Decrease in libido. A reduction in libido is typical after breast cancer surgery. The changes in your body can make you feel less interested in sex. Fatigue, skin changes, and anxiety contribute to low libido. However, it is essential to remember that your libido will eventually return to normal.
- Vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness is another common sexual side effect of breast cancer surgery. The loss of estrogen can cause the vaginal tissues to thin and become less lubricated. Products are available to help with this problem, but some women may also need to use a water-based lubricant during sex.
- Changes in or loss of sensation. Breast cancer surgery can also affect sexual success. Some women report less success in their nipples or breasts after surgery, while others find that their orgasms become more intense.
Don't be afraid to put your needs first. Self-love can be just as important as sexual activity with a partner. Masturbation, for example, can be a great way to explore your changed body and still experience sexual pleasure. With a little effort, cancer doesn't have to change who you are as a sexual being.
How Sex Toys Can Help You to Get Back on Track
Sex toys can be a great way to help you get back on track after breast cancer surgery. They can provide relief from pain and help to increase circulation. Sex toys like massagers can also help to reduce swelling and improve your range of motion.
When choosing a sex toy, finding one that is comfortable for you is crucial. You may want to try a few different types before you find the one that works best for you. Understanding the types of stimulation provided by sex toys can also be helpful.
The JIMMYJANE Solis Ascend Pro 2 vibrator is an excellent choice for women who have had breast cancer surgery. The vibrator has two flexible ears that you can use to massage the clitoris and other sensitive areas. The Solis is also waterproof, making it easy to use in the shower or bath.
This vibrator is easy to use, making it suitable for all experience levels. The smooth silicone is body safe and will feel great against your skin.
Another great wand vibrator is the Canna, built with pleasure and relaxation in mind; the ultra-powerful motor offers intense, precise rumbling vibrations to relieve tension, reduce muscle fatigue, and provide unparalleled power to stimulate all of your pleasure points.
The Canna Personal Massager offers numerous options to personalize your pleasure with seven high-performing functions and three attachable heads.
Our last recommendation for this article is the Euphor hand vibrator, crafted for g-spot stimulation, enjoy choosing between five high-performing vibration modes and five intensity levels for some unprecedented exploration.
Maintaining your overall well-being after a breast cancer diagnosis is vital. Not only do you need to take care of your physical health, but you also need to take care of your mental and emotional health.
This can be difficult, but you are not alone. Many resources are available to help you cope with cancer and its aftermath.
Self-love is essential after a breast cancer diagnosis. Don't forget to take time for yourself and do things that make you happy. By keeping your needs in mind, you can maintain your sense of self through this uncertain journey.
JIMMYJANE is a company dedicated to promoting health and wellness in breast cancer survivors. They offer a wide range of products that can help ease surgery and treatment's side effects. From sex toys to massage oils, JIMMYJANE has everything you need to explore your sexuality and maintain your wellness.
Key Statistics for Breast Cancer. (January 2022). Cancer.org.
The role of orgasm in the development and shaping of partner preferences. (October 2016). National Library of Medicine.
Chronic Stress Promotes Cancer Development. (August 2020). National Library of Medicine.