Leslie R. Schover, PhD | Authors

Cervical Cancer: Issues of Sexuality and Fertility

September 01, 2003

Carter et al provide a nice summaryof current knowledge ofsexual dysfunction in and rehabilitationof women with invasivecervical cancer. The prevailing perspectiveof their review, however,seems to be that most women treatedfor cervical cancer are white, middleclasspatients at major cancer centers.In order to make a difference in thequality of life of the majority of cervicalcancer survivors, we have to understandwho they are and recognizethe impact of social and gender inequalityon their lives and relationships.

Counseling Cancer Patients About Changes in Sexual Function

November 01, 1999

Cancer treatments often cause sexual dysfunctions that remain severe long after therapy is over. Nevertheless, sexual counseling is not routinely provided in most oncology treatment settings. Most patients and their partners can benefit from brief counseling that includes education on the impact of cancer treatment on sexual functioning; suggestions on resuming sex comfortably and improving sexual communication; advice on how to mitigate the effects of physical handicaps, such as having an ostomy, on sexuality; and self-help strategies to overcome specific sexual problems, such as pain with intercourse or loss of sexual desire. Brief counseling can be provided by one of the allied health professionals on the oncology treatment team. A minority of patients will need specialized, intensive medical or psychological treatment for a sexual dysfunction. In a large cancer center, such treatment could be provided as part of a reproductive health clinic serving the special needs of cancer patients. In smaller settings, the oncologist should build a referral network of specialists. Not all managed care organizations reimburse for these services, however. [ONCCOLOGY 13(11):1585-1591, 1999]

Discussing Disease Progression and End-of-Life Decisions

July 01, 1999

As mental health professionals become integral members of the treatment team in many oncology settings,[1] we often find ourselves itching to guide and comfort our medical colleagues instead of our patients. Sometimes we have to intervene