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Intimacy and Sexuality After Cancer: Questions Answered and Concerns Addressed
Date:10/21/2008

ler, MPW, PsyD, CST, and Editor of The Women's Sexual Health Journal. "It is my hope that they will inspire women, their partners, and practitioners to talk openly about sexual experiences and sexual challenges without fear of embarrassment."

In Sage Bolte's journal article, Cancer and Sexuality, she reports that 21%-39% of the more than 2.1 million women in the United States who are breast cancer survivors will be impacted by sexual dysfunction. The percentage may even be higher for those on hormone treatments and even higher for women diagnosed with gynecological cancers. "The impact of cancer and its treatments on a woman's sexuality are significant. Side effects like pain and fatigue often impact a woman's sexual function, sexual identity and feelings of attractiveness."

The Women's Sexual Health Foundation understands that there is a great need to bring educational information, from both the physical and psychological perspective, to women who traditionally have received little information in this area. And in turn this same information needs to get into the hands of healthcare providers. The Journal is designed to support women and the professionals who treat them.

"It is typical for these health practitioners to discuss everything but sexual health," writes Dr. McKeal in her article Intimacy and Sexuality after Cancer. "They normally leave it to the woman to ask. The medical community, focusing on illness and improved health does not treat pleasure or its deficit."                         

Dr. McKeal's article also reports insights and advice shared by women in Gynecological Cancers Support groups. "Women who were interviewed agreed that prior to treatments education about the likely side effects to sexuality should be a priority in every office assoc
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