Becoming a Mother after Breast Cancer Treatment
by Evelyn Mok-Lin, MD, and Glenn Schattman, MD
The opportunity to have children, raise a family, and experience the joys of motherhood is a very real prospect for many young women with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there are currently over 350,000 young women between the ages of 20 and 39 years old living with cancer in the U.S. Because there are so many reproductive-age cancer survivors who may want children in the future, the topic of fertility has become increasingly important to a woman’s treatment, recovery, and healing process.
Parenting with Cancer
by Marisa Minor, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
How can I help my children cope with my cancer diagnosis? This question is one of the first many parents ask after being diagnosed with cancer. It may seem inevitable that cancer will have an impact on your child’s life. But the good news is, with healthy coping strategies and open communication among family members, the impact can be positive and meaningful.
One Step at a Time
by Melanie Davis, PhD
You may have crossed sexual intimacy off your priority list when you found out you had cancer. If you’re in active treatment, you may not feel like being sexual in the same ways you were before diagnosis. After treatment, sex may still seem unappealing or even painful. This is all normal. But if you’re ready to bring sexual intimacy back into your life, you can work through the challenges – one small step at a time.
Cancer Is a Family Affair
by O.J. Sahler, MD
A diagnosis of childhood cancer is the beginning of major changes in how a family operates. Fear and anxiety about the child’s type of cancer and whether effective treatments are available, trips to the cancer center for treatment, and recurrent periods when the child just doesn’t feel well not only take the parents’ time but can also sap their energy and emotional reserves. In addition, parents have to make decisions about how to maintain health insurance and provide for their family’s living expenses.
The Importance of Social Support during Cancer
by Barbara L. Andersen, PhD
Having cancer can be an isolating experience. But during this time, social support is very important. The challenge for you is to figure out what type of support you need, from whom to get it, and how long you will need the support. For people with many social connections, friends and family are good resources with which to begin. For those with few relationships, healthcare professionals, peers, and other cancer survivors may instead provide solace and support.
Is There Sex for Women after Cancer?
by Anne Katz, RN, PhD, and Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP
One of the more common side effects of cancer and its treatments is sexual dysfunction, which includes alterations in body image, changes in normal arousal patterns, and diminished ability to have and enjoy intercourse. All of these issues can take an emotional toll on both the woman with cancer and her partner, and too often, they aren’t addressed.
In This Together
by by Suzanne B. Phillips, PSYD, ABPP, CGP, FAGPA
A traumatic event is one that is life threatening, unimaginable, and unexpected. One that can assault your body, your spirit, and your life as you know it. For a couple, a cancer diagnosis is a traumatic event for both partners. But when you each recognize your strength as a couple, you have a physical and psychological advantage in this journey.
Is My Child OK?
by Kathleen McCue, MA, LSW, CCLS
Someone in your family is dealing with cancer. It might be you, your spouse, or a grandparent. Whoever it is, it’s someone your child loves.