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Comparing social policiesExploring new perspectives in Britain and Japan$
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Misa Izuhara

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781861343666

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861343666.001.0001

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Women and health in Japan: sexuality after breast cancer

Women and health in Japan: sexuality after breast cancer

(p.227) Twelve Women and health in Japan: sexuality after breast cancer
Comparing social policies

Miyako Takahashi

Policy Press

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

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