Sex and Cancer

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Welcome to the sex and cancer info hub

This information is written specifically for people living with and beyond cancer. It is here to tell you the practical things you might need to know to keep you safe in your sexual relationships. Use the navigation links or search bar to get started!

Cancer and its treatment can impact your ability to have sex – either temporarily or permanently. It can also impact your ability to want or enjoy sex in the same way as you did before. However, lots of people with cancer do not experience any of these effects and continue to have normal sexual activity.

Cancer treatment can also increase the risks associated with sexual activity, including bleeding and infection. This information explains what you can do to protect yourself and your partner and reduce these risks as much as possible.

This info hub contains general information to guide you, however sometimes you may need to seek further advice from your cancer care team. This might include your Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), therapeutic radiographer, or doctor.

We have also provided some useful links about sex and wellness for you to explore including NHS resources, cancer charities, and sexual health organisations.

Check out our other interesting patient resources from OUTpatients on sex and cancer:

Stewart O’Callaghan, CEO, OUTpatients

Beth McCann, Senior Specialist Nurse, Teenagers & Young Adults with Cancer

Dr Joy Hall, Visiting Professor, Wrexham Glyndwr University

Dr Isabel White, Head of Clinical & Lead Psychosexual Therapist, Perci Health Ltd and The Edinburgh Practice, UK.

Dr Alison Berner, Academic Clinical Lecture in Medical Oncology, Bart’s Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London and Specialty Doctor in Adult Gender Identity Medicine

Sean Ralph, Consultant Therapeutic Radiographer in Prostate Cancer, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Loryn Caulfield, Gynae Consultant Therapeutic Radiographer, Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust

Dr Eleanor Holloway, Specialty Doctor in Sexual Health, Psychosexual Therapist, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr David Cutter, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Oxford University NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Nurul Huda Mohamad Fadzillah, GUM and HIV consultant, Oxfordshire Sexual Health

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This information hub was reviewed by members of our patient community. We are very grateful for their input, suggestions, and guidance. If you would like to take part in future content reviews, get in touch.