Breaking the silence on unspoken impacts of cancer

Click to play video: 'The unspoken impacts of cancer' The unspoken impacts of cancer
WATCH ABOVE: MUHC oncology nurse Nancy Lee Brown talks to Camille Ross about how to rekindle the flame and achieve intimacy after cancer – Feb 3, 2016

MONTREAL – Sexuality is not often considered as a priority on the minds on cancer patients, but new research shows it’s strongly linked to self-esteem and the recovery process.

Having cancer means dealing with both the physical changes as well as the emotional impact that can often affect relationships.

According to Nancy Lee Brown, an oncology nurse at the MUHC, sexuality and fertility are the number one concerns for breast and prostate cancer patients.

“They’re worried about function, they’re worried about changes in how they are going to be with their partner, whether they’ll ever have a partner,” she explained.

Brown said she encourages open conversations with loved ones and said nurses are on hand to help patients better understand the changes in their bodies.

A free public discussion is hoping to shed some light on the issues that patients might face when it comes to intimate relationships.

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“Most patients don’t need a lot of things, sometimes it’s just starting that conversation,” said Brown.

Experts will discuss ways to bring sexuality back into the lives of cancer patients and survivors, as well as provide lectures on self-esteem and body image.

Brown pointed out hospitals also have plenty of resources available to address any concerns.

The event will take place at McGill’s McIntyre Medical Sciences Building from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m on Feb. 4.

Information can be found at the CanSupport website.

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