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Harefuah. 2009 Sep;148(9):641-5, 655.

[Oncosexology--sex therapy for cancer patients].

[Article in Hebrew]

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Unit for Sex and Couple Therapy, Meir Medical Center, Kfar Saba.


In recent years, cancer, the main cause of patients' mortality in the western world, is turning into a chronic disease with increasing survivor rates, following advances in treatment methods. The disease and its therapies have a negative effect on the patient's quality of life and that of his or her partner and other family members. Cancer and its associated treatments [chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgical procedures] lead to a decline in the patients' level of physiological as well as psychological functioning and have a negative impact on their ability to maintain intimacy and healthy sex life with their partners. Sexual dysfunctions are identified among the majority of oncology patients, particularly those with gynecological and urological cancers. Although sexual problems are common among cancer patients, very little professional and therapeutic attention is provided to them. More so, the patients themselves are usually not aware of and do not receive adequate information regarding their sexual difficulties and about possible treatments. The oncosexology intervention system encompasses a team of interdisciplinary professionals (medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, couple therapists and sexologists, oncology nurses etc), together providing cancer patients and their partners with up-to-date information and adequate therapy focusing on their sexual and relational needs. There is currently a need to increase awareness and provide professional training in the field of oncosexology to medical doctors, nurses and other professional working with cancer patients in order for them to support their clients and improve their quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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