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Sexuality & 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

Patient information website supported by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists.

Chemocare is a program of the Scott Hamilton CARES initiative.


National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute has patient information available regarding self image and sexuality issues.
6116 Executive Blvd – Room 3036A
Bethesda MD 20892
1 (800) 4-CANCER - (1 (800) 422-6237)

Testicular Cancer Resource Center

Testicular Cancer Resource Center provides information and support to patients with testicular cancer.

See your doctor for more information

If you want to know more about sexual activity and your cancer care, speak with your doctor and pregnancy care team.

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Mayo Clinic Health Information

Visit the Mayo Clinic Health Library for comprehensive health information on thousands of health topics, includes information on illnesses and conditions, medications, medical tests and health quizzes.