Overview of Intimacy, Sex, & Sexuality: How They May Be Impacted by a Cancer Diagnosis (1:28:36)

a seminar included in:

COURSE: Core Competencies in Interdisciplinary Cancer Rehabilitation



Intimacy and sexuality are important components to the quality of life for most individuals. Sexual dysfunction is common in the general population, and unfortunately, studies consistently report that people diagnosed with cancer and their partners experience even higher rates of this distressing issue.

Many of the factors that contribute to sexual dysfunction are exacerbated by a cancer diagnosis and it's treatment interventions. The complexity of the disease and the prevalence of significant cancer-related impairments further contribute to the high rates of sexual dysfunction observed in the oncology population.

Yet, the diagnosis of cancer does not preclude an individual from valuing their sexuality or sexual health. And, people with cancer have no less need for their healthcare providers to address their sexual health needs and provide comprehensive care that includes discussions of and interventions for sexual dysfunction.

Because sexual function is considered an activity of daily living (ADL), healthcare providers involved in cancer rehabilitation and survivorship services should be well-equipped to address this high-priority issue. However, healthcare providers across the entire continuum of care consistently fail to address the sexual health needs of their patients.

This seminar provides an overview of intimacy, sex, and sexuality, including discussion of cancer-related sexual health changes that occur due to the cancer or as a result of cancer treatment interventions. The instructor provides recommendations for the interdisciplinary cancer care team to implement that may improve the identification of and treatment for sexual dysfunction in their patients.

  • Differentiate between intimacy, sex, and sexuality
  • Identify risk factors for sexual dysfunction
  • Recognize sexual impairments that may develop or may be exacerbated by cancer and cancer treatments.
  • Discuss sexual health as an essential component of high-quality cancer care
  • Identify barriers that healthcare providers cite in providing optimal sexual health care to patients and caregivers
  • Recommend multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary cancer care team interventions to optimize sexual health and quality of life