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I recently attended a webinar on 'Let's break the taboo around cancer and sexuality' which was organised by primarily by the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL). ECL is a non-profit, pan-European umbrella organisation of national and regional cancer societies.

Sexuality means different things to different people and it's a subject which is often difficult for people to talk about (including healthcare professionals). Those of us that have been treated for pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) and appendix cancers can have many physical and emotional hurdles to overcome. This is why I believe it's such an important topic for discussion.

The ECL Patient Support Working Group has produced a leaflet for patients and one for oncology professionals, which give information and resources for educating ourselves and to make those conversations easier.

The leaflets can be found here:

To access the leaflets in other languages, please follow this link and then select the required language. You will then have access to either or both available leaflets.

  • leaflet for patients – available in English, Spanish, German, French, Flemish and Slovak (Dutch and Portuguese coming soon)
  • leaflet for oncology professionals – available in English, Spanish, German, French, Flemish, Slovak & Hebrew (Dutch and Portuguese coming soon)

Trustee, Pseudomyxoma Survivor

Other useful resources and publications on the topic of cancer, sexuality & intimacy

Macmillan UK Cancer Support (2020) Sex & Cancer.
American Cancer Society (2020) How Cancer and Cancer Treatment Can Affect Sexuality.
European Society for Medical Oncology, ESMO (2019) E-Learning: Sexuality and Intimacy After Cancer.
National Coalition for Sexual Health, NCSH (2019) Sexual Health and Your Patients: A Provider’s Guide. Washington, DC: Altarum Institute.
Canadian Cancer Society (2018) Sex & Intimacy.
Carter, J. et al. (2018) “Interventions to Address Sexual Problems in People with Cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology Practice Guideline Adaptation Summary”. Journal of Oncology Practice, 10, 36(5), 492-511.
Guntupalli, S. and Karinch, M. (2017). Sex and Cancer: Intimacy, Romance, and Love after Diagnosis and Treatment. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Katz, A. (2012) Prostate Cancer and the Man you Love: Supporting and Caring for your Partner. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
Reisman, Y. and Giannotten, W. (Eds.) (2017) Cancer, Intimacy and Sexuality: A Practical Approach. Basel: Springer.
Schover, L. (1997) Sexuality and Fertility After Cancer. New York: Wiley & Sons