Personal Relationships

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Women, Cancer, & Sexual Health

by Yung A. Park, MD, and Elena Ratner, MD

Sexual dysfunction is a common side effect of cancer and its treat­ment, but this doesn’t mean you have to accept it as part of your “new normal.” You can reclaim your sexuality. Many women are even able to get back to the level of sexual functioning and intimacy they enjoyed before cancer.

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Let’s Talk about It

by Julie Larson, LCSW

A cancer diagnosis can impose a great deal of uncertainty into your life. As you struggle to make sense of your experience, you may find it difficult to decipher your needs and feelings, let alone communicate them to the people in your life who want to help.Learning a few simple strategies for better communication can help keep you from feeling misunderstood, isolated, and overwhelmed.

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Partners in Survival

by Marc Heyison

“Your mother has breast cancer.” These frightening words were spoken to me in 1992. Today my mom has been cancer-free for almost 22 years. Her courage inspired me to become an advocate in the fight against breast cancer, with a mission to educate and empower men to be effective caregivers when breast cancer strikes a loved one.

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The Language of Comforting

by Val Walker

It can be hard to find the right words to say to comfort someone coping with cancer. At times, we might even avoid contact completely because we fear saying the wrong thing. Here are some suggestions for what to say – and what not to say – to a loved one, friend, or coworker facing cancer.

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Addressing Sexual Recovery after Prostate Surgery

by Victor Hola, RN

Most men undergoing surgery to remove their prostate will experience difficulty getting an erection for varying lengths of time after surgery. In order to restore sexual vitality, two main areas need to be addressed. The first is largely physical. The second can have both physical and psychological factors. The road to sexual recovery is not always an easy one, but with time, effort, and a little bit of patience, success is possible.

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Confronting Cancer as a Couple

by Sandra Bernstein, MSN, RN, CS, LMFT

No one plans for cancer. It drops in suddenly, affecting not only your life but also the lives of everyone who cares about you, especially your spouse or partner. While each couple’s experience is unique, it’s com­mon for the predictability of daily life to be replaced with uncertainty. Whether cancer requires little change in your daily life for a short period or many changes that need to be accommodated over the long haul, change is inevitable. These changes can add stress to your relationship, but they also can create opportunities to deepen your connection.

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Know Your Options for Starting a Family after Cancer

by Sarah C. Hessler, MD, and Aimee Seungdamrong, MD

The ability to start a family is now a possibility for increasing numbers of women and men after cancer treatment. If you’ve been wondering whether you’ll be able to have children after chemotherapy or radiation, you’ll be pleased to know that, thanks to advances in the field of reproductive assistance and fertility preservation, you do have several options to consider.

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Coping Together
When the Diagnosis is Metastatic Breast Cancer

by Hoda Badr, PhD

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you have probably gone through treatment hoping for remission or recovery. However, if your healthcare team tells you that your cancer has metastasized, you and your partner may be facing new choices regarding your care and your future together. This can be a time of frustra­tion, fear, poor communication, and physical discomfort. But this also can be a time of growth, meaning, and healing. By coming to understand each other’s perspective, you and your part­ner can begin to work as a team to navigate this experience together.

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