Sexuality and Intimacy Issues in Cancer Patients

imagesOur sexuality is something that we take for granted. It is one of those aspects of life that tends to take a back seat as we get busy in dealing with other priorities.

While some couples may tend to get into a pattern with respect to their sexual life for others it may be something very important. For different people sex means different – enjoyment, ability to express, de-stressing and relaxing are just some of them. However when something like cancer steps between a couple things may not remain the same.

Human sexuality is much more than just an ability to have sexual intercourse. While fulfilling a basic need it is a basic part of one’s identity. It goes a long way in boosting self esteem, makes people feel wanted, loved, accepted and even complete. Hugging, holding each other can be consoling and comforting. A close relationship goes a long way in feeling normal again. It can help distract a patient from the disease and pain.

Sexuality and Cancer

It is important to understand that irrespective of the type of cancer being treated and treatment it has the potential of affecting sexual functioning. Sexual issues in cancer patients can be analyzed at two different stages – during treatment and after treatment. The symptoms and the changes on sexuality and Intimacy issues are many and they differ from patient to patient. It depends a lot on the age of the person and also on the sex of the person. These changes can be a rude shock to both the patient and the partner.

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While for many couples sexuality may take a complete back seat as theyimages (1) concentrate their energies on understanding the diagnosis and getting started with the treatment.  The disease makes the patient very weak and as a result he or she may not have the energy to be involved in a sexual activity and would like to avoid the same as much as possible. This is normal.

Sexual issues are the most common and are also long lasting side effect of the treatment.  It cannot be said that once the treatment is over all issues are resolved. The diseases, the treatment, issues related to body image all have an impact on a patient’s physical and emotional health for a long time. It is some time later after active treatment that survivors take stock of the situation and attempt to take charge over their sexual lives.  It is when patients attempt to get back to their normal lives that they want to reconnect to their sexual lives and realize that there are issues that need to be handled sensitively.

Sudden changes in sexual life can be very depressing for the patient. If they are not dealt with in time they can only add on to the agony of the patient and ensure that he or she takes longer to recover.

We hope that this article on Sexuality and Intimacy Issues in Cancer Patients will help you to understand how the cancer patients tend to suffer during the disease. It will make you more considerate and understanding towards the problem. This will definitely help you to ensure that the cancer patient recovers well and fast with love, warmth, care and a little understanding.