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Addressing Sexual and Body Image Concerns




  • Identifies 'The sexual response cycle'
  • Explains reasons why the addressing of sexual and body concerns with cancer patients is necessary
  • Lists general factors affecting sexual functioning and medication which effects sexual functioning
  • Describes the philosophy of sexual rehabilitation
  • Provides guidance and a practical model for addressing sexual and body image concerns

This chapter explores how all cancer patients have a sexual identity and are at risk of sexual and body image concerns as a consequence of their cancer diagnosis and treatment. It describes all the responsibilities that all health professionals need to address such concerns and it gives them suggestions and advice on how to do so.


Contents include

  • Why address sexual and body concerns with cancer patients?
    • The sexual response cycle
    • The prevalence of sexual concerns
    • Factors affecting sexual functioning
    • Concerns associated with common cancer sites
  • A philosophy of sexual rehabilitation
  • Barriers to care for health care professionals and patients
  • A practical model for addressing sexual and body Image concerns
    • Permission (P)
    • Limited information (LI)
    • Specific suggestions (SS)
    • Intensive therapy (IT)
  • Putting it all together
  • Resources for health professionals and for patients
  • References
  • Resource sheet 9.1 Some ideas to get your sex life back on track!
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Author / Editor Biographies

Clinical Psychologist
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 Publi...

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