Women and health in Japan: sexuality after breast cancer

Miyako Takahashi

in Comparing social policies

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9781861343666
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301967 | DOI:
Women and health in Japan: sexuality after breast cancer

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Cancer has been the primary cause of death in Japan since 1981. The Japanese word for cancer, gan, was once associated with the image of death, or with severe physical and psychological distress. However, thanks to the recent development of medical technology and treatment, patients' survival rates have dramatically improved. However, sexuality after having cancer remains a taboo topic in both the clinical and research setting of many countries. This chapter focuses primarily on women's sexuality after having breast cancer, and discusses how this long-neglected issue is influenced by both the sociocultural context and the health care system in Japan. The chapter first presents an overview of the health status of Japanese people and the Japanese health care system in general. Then, it discusses sexuality after a cancer diagnosis. Finally, it discusses the links to clinical practice and policies.

Keywords: women's sexuality; health care system; Japan; Japanese health; sexual changes; cancer diagnosis

Chapter.  6811 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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