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Cover image for: Cancer: Addressing Sexuality and Body Image
CPD1h of CPD
Total Rating(s)6
First Published
Updated27 November 2017
Expires 23 May 2019
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

A cancer diagnosis can adversely impact an individual’s sexuality and body image. This Course examines why this may be the case, and offers strategies for health professionals to address sexuality and body image concerns.

Topics include:

  • The impact of a cancer diagnosis on intimacy and body image
  • Myths about sex and cancer
  • Overcoming barriers to addressing sexual concerns
  • Skills for addressing sexual and body image concerns

Target audience

Health professionals who care for people diagnosed with cancer, and their loved ones. It may also be useful for individuals who, in their personal lives, may provide care and support for a loved one experiencing cancer.


The purpose of this Course is to build knowledge and confidence around the impact of a cancer diagnosis on a person's sexuality and body image.


A person's sexuality and their body image may form an important part of their identity and can be significantly affected by a cancer diagnosis. Interventions are effective and a key area of comprehensive holistic cancer care.

However, sexual and body image concerns are often not addressed by health professionals, and patients themselves typically do not raise the topic, despite wanting more information. This Course closes barriers to addressing sexuality and body image by enhancing a health professional’s comfort and skill level to do so appropriately.

Learning Outcomes
  • Explain the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on a person's sexual functioning and body image
  • Describe some of the barriers nurses may encounter when addressing sexuality and body image
  • Identify skills required for addressing sexual and body image concerns

No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Portrait of Katharine Hodgkinson
Katharine Hodgkinson

Dr Katharine Hodgkinson is a Clinical Psychologist with over 18 years’ experience in client care, research and education. Katharine currently leads a team of Clinical and Consulting Psychologists at HeadwayHealth providing a range of psychological interventions to support to those affected by a cancer and other heath and emotional concerns. Katharine has published numerous research papers and several book chapters in cancer care, and co-edited the book “Psychosocial Care of Cancer Patients. A Health Professional’s Guide to What to Say and Do” (Hodgkinson K and Gilchrist J, Ausmed Publications, 2008). See Educator Profile

CPD1h of CPD
Total Rating(s)6
First Published
Updated27 November 2017
Expires 23 May 2019
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia
Chronic Illness
Psychosocial Considerations
Learning Tools
Related Learning Hubs
Content Integrity

Learner Reviews

6 Total Rating(s)
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Lucy Soto
22 Nov 2018

good source of information

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Daniel Nicholas Milano
27 Jun 2018

An engaging lecture. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Avelina Go Chow
30 May 2018

Excellent topic that we need to learn more skills

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Katherine Hepworth
26 May 2018


Portrait of Emily Ravaillion
Emily Ravaillion
07 May 2018

A good reminder that sexuality is part of holistic patient care and that we need to address and manage it with patients.

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Norest Mashonganyika
24 Dec 2017

Well presented