Recently, we conducted a live chat within our cancer survivorship series: Cancer Survivorship and Intimacy. The chat was hosted by Alice Mullins, LCSW, of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University’s survivorship program and addressed a variety of topics related to cancer treatment, survivorship and intimacy.
Cancer treatments can wreak havoc on the mind and body, thus impacting how patients feel about affection and intimacy. Since the topic is often under-addressed, Alice was able to answer some of your most pressing questions.
All types of cancers, not just those of the reproductive organs, can have an impact on intimacy, as intimacy is not only physical but emotional as well. Patients undergoing cancer treatment may face a variety of issues with intimacy due to side-effects of treatment and medication. Alice recommended that chat participants experiencing such issues consult with their physician or counselor for support.
While there are several ways to increase sexual desire and intimacy among cancer patients and their partners, the most important step is to work on communication.
Alice reminded participants that prioritizing good communication and being open, both personally and with their partner, is key! What intimacy means and is constituted by may change for patients during or after cancer treatment, so keeping an open mind on ways to feel and experience intimacy is essential.
For more information and to review the full discussion the intimacy chat transcript is available today.