Psychological and sexual problems of cancer survivors

Ida Ayu Made Ari Santi Tisnasari, Tuti Nuraini, Yati Afiyanti, Rudi Rudi, Riri Maria

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: To explore: 1) the unmet needs of breast cancer patients; 2) the sexual needs experienced by breast cancer survivors; 3) the experiences of cancer patients at the time of relapse, including the biopsychosocial-spiritual aspects of their experiences. Materials and Methods: Interpretative phenomenological qualitative research by conducting direct in-depth interviews with participants who met the inclusion criteria. Sample analyzed were breast cancer survivors who had experiences related to unmet needs (14 participants) or sexual problems (12 participants); adult cancer patients who experienced recurrences (10 participants). Results: Themes identified for breast cancer patients with unmet needs were i) overcoming health problems in breast cancer survivors; ii) need to access the best health services; iii) women's unmet information needs concerning cancer treatment. For breast cancer survivors: i) information is needed to overcome sexual problems, ii) family support is needed to get sexual information, and iii) health care facilities need to provide sexual information. For patients experiencing recurrences: i) the reaction that occurs when receiving bad news; ii) efforts made during a relapse, iii) self-concept during a relapse. Conclusions: Health-related problems of breast cancer survivors, such as fatigue and fear of cancer recurrence, can lead them to have trouble with social relationships, question their spirituality, and struggle with sex and sexuality. Oncology nurses and other professionals need to be aware of the unmet needs of breast cancer survivors, especially in relation to resolving the sexuality issues of cancer survivors. Understanding of the experiences of patients with relapse of different types of cancer should be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalArchivio Italiano di Urologia e Andrologia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer patients
  • Cancer recurrence
  • Cancer therapy
  • Relapse
  • Resilience
  • Sexuality
  • Survivors
  • Unmet needs


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