Cancer and Sexuality Inservice for Oncology Staff


Yesterday I taught an inservice class about cancer and sexuality for the oncology staff at a local hospital. There were 15 participants, including 2 nurses who have also recently been breast cancer patients. In talking about what happens anatomically, medically, psychologically and spiritually during and after breast cancer treatments, it quickly became obvious that more health care providers can benefit from this information. If you think so, please introduce me to your health care providers so that I can be a resource to them. The staff also received CEU’s for this session, so it was a win-win.

Here are some of the key points that came out of the session:

  • women want to know early in their treatment that there may be intimacy and sexuality changes and challenges
  • women want information and tools to help in these areas
  • during treatment, sex may be the last thing on their minds, but they want to know how to be intimate and loving and they want their partners to know how to do this
  • information about intimacy and sexuality is best given throughout treatment because chemo brain may get in the way of absorbing it
  • caregivers need resources to offer patients if they don’t have the information or time to devote to this
  • having information about intimacy and sexuality goes a long way to having patients feel like a whole human being instead of being the disease

Every member of the oncology staff said they are happy to talk about intimacy and sexuality and may not think to ask about it when they are busy taking vitals, getting meds ready, and bringing water and supplies to patients. They welcome questions, even if they may not have an answer, because they will find resources.

With the new emphasis on long term care planning, including quality of life aspects, intimacy and sexuality are key issues. Navigating the transitions from being lovers to being patient and caregiver, back to being lovers, can be challenging. Having tools, ideas and resources to do this is essential.

What do you think? What resources do you need and where do you want to get them? Please reply to this post or message me directly ( with your thoughts. Thanks! Here’s to your beauty, radiance and intimacy!

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.

For more resources, go to

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

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  1. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. We celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary by my having a lumpectomy. Suffice to say, the romance and sexual attraction had waned. I joined several on-line breast cancer support groups. One of the groups we are a tad crazy and will talk about anything and everything. The topic of sexual intimacy or lack thereof came up. I was the courageous one to ask the question what other people did. I felt like a virgin all over again. I was amazed how many joined in this conversation. Before I knew it, brands of lubricants were recommended. That was all I needed to start the proverbial ball rolling again. Experimentation with lubricants and reading recommendations helped. My Ob/Gyn recommended a vibrator. I though, you have got to be kidding. She is a very conservative type person. I did more research and after experimenting, we found some that work well for us. Now we feel like newlyweds again. We recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.


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