The Myths and Truths
Sex and Cancer
Sexuality is a luxury one cannot afford in a fight for survival
Sexuality is not possible (or is dangerous) in a body with disease
A partial loss of sexual function means that sexuality is lost
Sexual wholeness can (and perhaps should?) be pursued during and after cancer treatments
Know your resources, solutions exist!
Change is inevitable. Consider embarking on a new sexual adventure rather than getting back to “the way it was”
Many cancers and cancer treatments have distressing effects on sexual function. Over 3 in 4 people with gynecological (uterine, ovarian, cervical and vulvar) cancers and up to 9 in 10 with breast cancer as well as up to 8 in 10 with prostate cancer have concerns about sexual function. Colon cancer and blood cancers also have a big impact on sexual function. Sexual problems mostly occur as a side effect of treatments—surgeries, chemotherapies, hormone suppression, and radiation. Often both healthcare providers and patients with a cancer experience are focused on getting rid of the cancer and up front discussions about potential sexual side effects are rare. There can be sexual problems such as sexual pain, changes in sensation of the genitals (numbness), incontinence (not being able to control urine or bowels), changes in orgasm, as well as changes in arousal (erection or lubrication) and sexual desire.
The good news is that there are many ways to improve these problems—sometimes with medical treatments, and sometimes with sex therapy for individuals, groups or couples to assist in navigating the changes and creating a path to discovery of the new sexual you.
Let us be your travel guide on the journey! Call us today – we can help!
UsToo Prostate Cancer Support, Education, and Advocacy — Sexual Health and Intimacy Resources
WomanLab.org — Sex and Cancer Resources
FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) — 2013 talk by Dr. Sharon Bober on Cancer Previvors and Survivors
Guide to Understanding Intimacy and Sexuality by Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Cancer Con presented by Stupid Cancer: for adolescents and young adults