We’ve talked about lots of practical issues that cancer patients deal with, but one topic we’ve neglected is cancer and sex. Contrary to popular belief, sex and intimacy don’t have to stop when cancer enters the picture, and in this episode, we explore some helpful tips for navigating the world of sex and relationships in the midst of illness.
Welcome to Episode 2 of Cancer Companion!
This week, we’re talking about sex.
There’s no doubt that living with cancer changes things in your life, but a diagnosis doesn’t mean that sex and intimacy should be completely off limits. In fact, we know that many couples worry about sex, but feel too nervous to talk to their doctors about it.
In this episode, we speak with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Leslie Schover. Leslie is the Founder of Will2Love; an organisation that helps cancer patients to navigate sexuality and fertility through evidence-based self-help programs, access to telehealth advice, patient forums, and psychological counselling. We ask Leslie why sex might change during the cancer journey, and what you can do to cope with these changes – on your own, or with a partner.
On this week’s episode:
…The conversation is a little longer than usual (25 minutes!) so here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:
- Dr. Schover introduces herself – 2:00
- What problems with sexuality do cancer patients usually experience? – 2:50
- Do types of cancer affect your sex life differently? – 4:10
- Why is sexuality important (even in the midst of cancer)? – 5:50
- Of the sexual problems that exist during cancer, how many are due to physical circumstances, and how many are due to the emotional or psychological strain of cancer? – 7:26
- What is Will2Love and how can it help cancer patients? – 9:00
- Is it normal to be thinking about – and interested in – sex if you’re living with cancer? – 13:00
- Practical tips for sex & intimacy during cancer – 14:50
- Check out our list of the 6 questions you’re too embarrassed to ask about cancer and sex. We cover whether or not cancer can be sexually transmitted, and how cancer can look different after prostate cancer or pelvic cancers.
- Then take a look at our guide to cancer and sex. We’ve gathered up our best tips for managing intimacy, and handling side-effects like vaginal dryness or premature menopause (which can make sex trickier).
- Last but not least, take a tour of Will2Love’s website, and get access to their fantastic free resources. The BringItUp Campaign is also available for you to explore.
We’d love to know what you think!
Email Kylie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet us @LBWCancer. Join our Facebook page at facebook.com/livebetterwith.
How do I listen?
Cancer Companion is a “podcast.” A podcast is similar to a radio show, with one key difference: you don’t have to tune in at a specific time to hear the episode. You can listen to it whenever and wherever you want. Just click the play button above on any device that you’d like to use to listen to the podcast, sit back and relax.