One of the side effects that is difficult to treat is the damage to women's sexuality. Even if the operation did not leave very strong marks, the woman may feel that her illness has disturbed her sexuality. “In support groups that we practice, explains Sipollini, many women said that they had such a feeling as if sexuality had ceased to be for them such an important part of life as before. During the course of treatment, strangers constantly touch and examine their bodies. When this happens, you feel as if your body no longer belongs to you. It does not depend on you what happens to your body, either inside or outside. ”
In some types of cancer, it may be necessary to remove the genital organs, and sometimes the vagina in these cases diminishes or completely eliminates sexual need or makes it impossible to have sexual intercourse. Many women with cancer need therapeutic treatment to help them cope with this, because many of them will have to completely change the way they express themselves.
“Unfortunately, although the problem of sexuality is one of the most important for cancer patients, it is very difficult for the patient and the medical staff to address this topic,” says Sipollini.
“Patients don’t want to ask, and doctors don’t want to ask,” says Dr. Holland, whose department is working on one of a very limited number of programs in the country, according to which staff learns to help patients with disorders in the genital area. Physicians treat this topic in conversations with patients and discuss new ways to express sexuality. ”