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FREE forum: Building sexual confidence after cancer

Thursday 7 February, 2008

Learning how to rebuild sexual confidence after cancer treatment will be the focus of a special forum to be held at The Cancer Council Victoria on Monday, February 25.

At least 40 per cent of people diagnosed with cancer experience some form of sexual dysfunction, with a much higher percentage rate for some cancers. The forum is essential for anyone affected by cancer wanting to experience greater quality of life.

The free forum will focus on sexuality and intimacy issues across cancer and palliative care, discussing practical ways to adjust to the sexual and intimate changes experienced after cancer treatment.

Dr Amanda Hordern, Deputy Director of the Cancer Council's Cancer Information and Support Service, said that with intervention, up to 70% of patients can improve sexual functioning.

"Almost all cancer treatments have the potential to alter sexual function,'' Dr Hordern said.

"People can feel less sexual because they look differently or feel less attractive after treatment. Some of these changes may be temporary, others may be longer lasting and these can be very difficult to deal with.

"The Sexuality and Cancer forum informs people with cancer and their partners of ways to cope with sexual problems so they can enhance their relationship and experience greater quality-of-life," Dr Hordern said.

The Cancer Council Victoria's Sexuality and Cancer Forum for people with cancer will be held on Monday February 25, 10.00am - 3.00pm at The Cancer Council Victoria, 1 Rathdowne Street, Carlton.

Topics will include:

  • Lubrication and communication
  • Adjusting to sexual and intimate changes after cancer treatment
  • Beyond sexual function - connecting with your partner
  • Sexuality and cancer for the 20-45 age group

Speakers, Doreen Akkerman AM & Dr Amanda Hordern are experts in sexuality and cancer.

The forum is free and partners are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided. Registrations are essential; please RSVP by Thursday February 21. For more information or to register, call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.