Sex - Let’s Talk — ASN Events

Sex - Let’s Talk (#636)

Janine Porter-Steele 1 , Leonie Young 1
  1. Kim Walters Choices Program, Toowong, QLD, Australia

Background:- Whilst research indicates a significant number of women diagnosed with breast cancer suffer body image, intimacy and sexuality issues such as loss of libido or reduced sexual activity  it also demonstrates sexuality remains a taboo subject.  These sexuality problems are often an unexpected side effect of their cancer treatment.Women report they not only want to find solutions for themselves but also for their partners for whom they often experience enormous guilt about the impact this has on them. 

Method:- Through a team effort presenting multiple dimensions the Sexuality Workshop offers a safe environment where women can openly share and discuss their concerns.  Breaking down  barriers to discussion, these workshops are interactive and fun, explore sexuality and body image and share strategies and solutions through a range of media.

They are facilitated by a specialist breast care nurse drawing on her experiences in supporting women diagnosed with breast cancer and reinforcement by evidence based strategies together with a breast cancer survivor whose anecdotes and survivor experience add another perspective to help the audience gain insight and find solutions.   This sensitive topic is addressed with the use of humour and compassion to create a sense of ease in the audience.

Results:- Through quality assurance strategies and verbal feedback these workshops have demonstrated they encourage increased emotional resilience, strengthened relationships and reduced anxiety.  

Conclusion:- By offering women something  practical that may improve this part of their lives, these workshops are in a sense investing in the hopeful side of their surviving a serious disease like cancer.