by Katie Dobinson, Psychologist
Research investigating the impact of cancer upon sexuality, both physically and psychologically, has for the most part focused on the needs of adults. For adolescents and young adults with cancer, however, understanding the impact of cancer upon their psychosexual well-being is incredibly important. A cancer diagnosis during the AYA years may come at a time when a young person is establishing their sense of identity, forming intimate relationships, and becoming autonomous.1 Cancer can make these milestones a little more difficult to reach.
by Anne Katz PhD, RN, FAAN
Prostate cancer is widely acknowledged as a couples’ disease, in no small part to assumptions about the man’s role in initiating sex; as a result, the sexual side effects of treatment are deemed to affect not just the man but his partner as well. There is perhaps some truth to this however it is also predominately a disease of aging men and with age comes alterations in sexual potential. The partner of the man with prostate cancer is also older and may have issues related to aging him or herself too.
by Anne Katz PhD, RN
Sexuality is about much more than sex – it’s about who you are attracted to and who you choose to be sexual with (or not), what your sexual desires and fantasies are, how you react to touch, and yes, also to what you do sexually. Trying to figure this out is an important task of adolescence and young adulthood – and it’s not always easy! Having cancer makes things a lot more complicated because the treatments all have sexual side effects. The chapter on body image highlights some issues that affect sexuality – but there are others that directly impact on how your body works and these can cause problems.
by Barbara Musser
Early on, most of us are trained to believe that sex is intercourse, something that happens in the genitals when some body parts come into contact, fluids may be exchanged and it often feels pleasurable. The focus is frequently on having an orgasm or helping our partner to have an orgasm, and this has become the standard for “good sex.” It’s time to expand our horizons and understand what sex can be beyond intercourse.