When you or your partner have cancer, good lovin’ is probably the last thing on your mind… for a while anyways… and then, it eventually becomes a priority again. Let’s face it… intimacy and sex are both basic human needs. But this topic can be difficult, frustrating and at times, down right embarrassing to talk about… not only with a partner but with doctors as well. And there’s very little useful information on the internet (I know… I searched high and low for some).
It’s estimated that 40% – 100% of cancer patients will experience some sort of sexual dysfunction. The dysfunction can be either emotional (stress, feeling different about your body, etc.) or physical (treatment side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, premature menopause, etc.). So what can you do about this? Although the need for intimacy and sex are not life and death issues, they are REAL quality of life issues.
Check out the Cancer Support Community’s BLOG TALK RADIO SHOW… episode 62 (Sexuality in Cancer Survivorship) and episode 74 (Cancer, Sexuality & Young Adults). Both episodes are real, honest and packed with lots of useful information (kinda like CancerHawk :-)).
On episode 62, Dr. Leslie Schover, clinical psychologist at MD Anderson talks briefly about MD Anderson’s Tendrils Program, a sexual renewal program for women surviving cancer. It’s an internet-based counseling program and clinical trial designed to help women recover sexual function and satisfaction after cancer treatment. All participants must be able to attend 3 on-site counseling sessions at MD Anderson. Click HERE for more information on eligibility. Soon, they will be launching a similar program for male cancer survivors.
For some practical tips on reigniting the passion after cancer, I saw a GREAT segment on ABC NEWS… click HERE. And for great support groups, check out your local Cancer Support Community… they have affiliates in all 50 states. If you’re single and dating with cancer, check out my blog post ISOL & the Big C.
If you have any good tips for Keepin’ the Love Alive after cancer, please post your “G” rated secrets… Knowledge is power… Share the power!
Click here to read Robyn’s full blog, CancerHawk.