European Cancer Organisation
Study on Cancer and Sexual Behavior
This study conducted by Astri Syse, an epidemiologist at the Norwegian Cancer Registry gives valuable insight in the difference between women and men when challenged with cancer of the spouse.
Lesley Fallofield, who is not part of the study said that because sex is a particularly important way for young couples to cement their relationship, a cancer diagnosis that affects a couple’s sex life might be very damaging.
“No patient develops cancer in a social vacuum,” she said.
“The diagnosis will always have an impact on a loved one, and in some cases, they may decide to leave.”
Experts said that doctors treating couples in which one of them had cancer should pay more attention to how the diagnosis was affecting their relationship.
Another study presented Wednesday at the Barcelona meeting found that children of cancer patients were so affected by the news of their parent’s diagnosis that they had post-traumatic stress symptoms years later.
We clearly need to be looking closer at how cancer affects a patient’s loved ones,” said Lesley Fallowfield, a professor of psycho-oncology at Sussex University. There is more to treating cancer than just medical care.”
In fact, she and her colleagues found that survivors of breast cancer were less likely to get divorced than similar women without the disease.
Divorce was least likely to occur when the cancer had spread, or in most fatal types of cancer.