Sex and Cancer
Seems about time to return to another favorite topic: sexuality and intimacy. As we all know, a cancer diagnosis and treatment is never a sexual plus, and almost everyone experiences diminished interest and activity. I have known a few women for whom sex was the number one priority, but they have been rare. Most people are too focused on just getting through treatment, and it is surely hard to feel sexy and hot when bald and sick.
In my experience, these concerns are much more likely to occur after treatment. At some point during the course of physical and emotional recovery, sex again becomes important, and most women sadly recognize that there have been negative changes. This is a terrific two part series from Web MD. I give you the beginning and then both links:
Your Sex Life on Cancer: What Sex Life? Part 1
By Heather Millar
This may be stating the obvious: Cancer is not an aphrodisiac. For most of us, thoughts of romance fly out the window the moment we're diagnosed. Then, we wake up six months, or 18 months, or 24 months later to survey the wreckage that was once our libido.
It's tough on patients. It's tough on partners. It's tough on marriages, and that makes it tough on families. But it's far from insoluble, says Dr. Sueann Mark a 5-year, young adult survivor of breast cancer and a sex educator specializing in the unique needs of cancer survivors.
"Some people make sex a priority during treatment because it makes them feel alive," Mark says. "But most people shut down. I encourage people to think of their sex life as a water heater. Every water heater has a pilot light. If you shut off the pilot light on your water heater, how long is it going to take to heat up that tank again so that you can take a shower? If you can maintain that pilot light, you're starting from a better place."
Part 1: Read more »
Part 2: Read more »