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Marriage & Love after a Mastectomy

downloadQuestion 265

Dear Father, I have an unusual query. Suppose a woman loses both her breasts to cancer through a double mastectomy; as she is no longer able to breastfeed (even though she is still young enough to bear children), is it a sin for her to marry?  Is there anything in Catholic teaching or laws that would prevent her from marrying? Also, she loves her fiancé very much and as act of trust and fidelity, not sexual temptation, she wishes to show him her scars before they marry. She merely wants him to understand her experience, not to entice him sexually. As they are both practicing Catholics, they wish to know if there is anything wrong or sinful in this. What advice do you have?


A mastectomy would not prevent a woman from getting married. A woman wants to be accepted by her spouse and know that he finds her beautiful, even after losses of this sort. Before they get married, she wants to share the truth about herself and her woundedness. It may also help her to take measure of the man. Given that there is no overt sexual enticement, I can understand what she proposes and would not fault her.

Question 266

How would the Lord view the use of breast implants for cancer survivors? Correct me if I am wrong, but I would assert that a merciful God would understand, just as in the case of pressure suits for children who are burns victims.  I do not think that the use of implants would simply count as vanity.  In Australia the costs for this type of surgery is paid by taxpayers.  There is virtually 100% agreement here about this. Addressing myself to one concerned about his beloved’s breast surgery, PLEASE be kind when you see her scars.  Say something like I love you just the way you are.  Tell her that she is still beautiful.  Let her know you are still soulmates.


Yes, there is no prohibition about implants; but neither are they required.

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