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Sexuality and Cancer - A General Overview

Discussing sexuality is often avoided due to the sensitive, personal nature of the subject. However, it is important to acknowledge sexuality as an integral part of life.

Sexuality affects many areas including self-image and relationships. If you have questions about sexuality, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor or other healthcare team members. Your healthcare professionals understand the impact cancer and its treatments can have on sexuality.

Cancer and its treatments can influence sexuality in a variety of ways. Sometimes it causes physical changes due to surgical procedures or weight loss. Likewise, it can have psychological impact because of anxiety, fear, or depression. Side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatment, such as nausea or fatigue, can interfere with sexual desire or participation in social engagements. Financial burdens can also be a source of worry.

Not everybody undergoing cancer treatment will experience sexual problems, but if you do, understanding how cancer treatments may affect you will help you deal with the changes.

  Information on Sexuality and Cancer

 American Cancer Society
Patient information available regarding physical changes, appearance, and sexuality.
550 North 31st Street – Suite 103
Billings MT 59101
(406) 256-7150 or 1 (800) 252-5470
For Men 
For Women
A program of the Scott Hamilton CARES initiative.

Fertile Hope
A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients with fertility issues.

National Cancer Institute
Patient information available regarding sexuality and reproductive issues.
6116 Executive Blvd – Room 3036A
Bethesda MD 20892
1 (800) 4-CANCER (1 (800) 422-6237)
Patient information website supported by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists.


Female functioning after cancer treatment.
Male functioning after cancer treatment. 

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