Cancer Australia has released a new online resource to support health professionals initiate discussions on sexual wellbeing with breast cancer patients and their partners.
Called Starting the conversation: supporting sexual wellbeing for women with breast cancer, the new resource includes information on the issues surrounding sexual wellbeing and identifies interventions for common symptoms impacting a woman’s sexual intimacy.
“Research shows that while many women experience negative changes to their sexual wellbeing, the majority remain silent about these changes, and few speak to a health professional about the issue,” said Cancer Australia CEO Professor Helen Zorbas.
The impact of breast cancer treatment on a woman’s sexual wellbeing and intimacy can be a very challenging and unforeseen part of her breast cancer experience.
“Cancer Australia has developed this resource in response to a lack of available guidance to support health professionals to openly talk about these changes and to advise about appropriate interventions,” said Professor Zorbas.
The new resource has been welcomed by Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), the peak national consumer organisation for Australians affected by breast cancer.
“We know from our members that the impact of breast cancer on sexual wellbeing is often underestimated or ignored by health professionals given there are treatment options available,” said Maxine Morand, CEO of Breast Cancer Network Australia.
“This important new resource will help initiate much-needed conversations between women and health professionals about sexual wellbeing and relationships,” Maxine said.
The resource includes examples and tips on initiating the conversation to identify and prioritise a woman’s key concerns and management options for common symptoms.
Cancer Australia encourages health professionals to use the resource and begin a conversation with breast cancer patients to help address issues of sexual wellbeing.
BCNA has a complimentary resource available for patients that can be ordered or downloaded for free from http://www.bcna.org.au/fact-sheets-and-booklets
For all media inquiries, please contact the Cancer Australia media desk on (02) 9357 9401 or 0438 209 833.
Cancer Australia is the Australian Government’s national agency providing leadership in cancer control to improve outcomes for those affected by cancer, their families and carers