What is the relationship between sex and cancer? Why does cancer often bring with it a problem related to the sexual sphere? But above all: what are the solutions to get one’s sex life back? How can we break this taboo?
According to a study by the Swedish University of Uppsala, most women under 40, who have been affected by cancer, complain of at least one sex-related disorder: decreased libido, dryness, pain, vaginal mucous membrane losing tone, as well as recurring urogenital infections and inflammations, may be a direct effect of cancer therapies and related hormonal imbalances. A combination of factors that are little talked about, both medically and personally, make cancer rhyme with goodbye sex.
‘To make everything even more difficult is the fact that these physical symptoms are compounded by psychological ones. Feeling for some reason less attractive or even just being afraid that intercourse might be painful leads to sexual discomfort,’ explains Amalia Vetromile, Sexandthecancer® project leader.
Why ‘Sex and the Cancer’?
To break a deafening silence surrounding a problem that affects 6% of Italian women: sex after cancer. This is a significant phenomenon that is little talked about in Italy because women themselves most often do not talk about it, and keep silent. Women are often ashamed and embarrassed to confide in their doctor, partner and even intimate friends! They are often convinced that nothing can be done clinically. A silence that many doctors do not know how to deal with. Only by talking about it can women discover that solutions exist, that much can be done to make them even better. ‘Sex and the Cancer’ was created so that this story could be told: a story made up of a multiplicity of stories of different women, of how they dealt with this problem, starting with Amalia, its founder. To create a community of women whose stories become stories that women tell other women, imitating them. A community that becomes a movement for change that fights for women’s right to enjoy life, because satisfying sexuality after cancer is possible.
Hence the idea of an online listening desk.
On the one hand, there are the many women who have gone through a cancer diagnosis and are now facing some sex-related hiccups. On the other, a team of doctors, including psychologists, gynaecologists and physiotherapists, who give the right tips on what to do. Not a therapy but advice on how to proceed, what solutions exist and where to find them.