Cancer and sex. These are two words not typically associated. Unfortunately, after cancer treatment ends many cancer survivors are left with sexual changes that when left unaddressed can become long-term problems. Decreased sex drive, changes in sexual function and problems with intimacy can worsen quality of life for cancer survivors. Partners also experience this burden, such that as survivor’s functioning worsens, they report decreased sexual satisfaction as well.
The good news is that there are strategies and treatments that can manage these sexual changes and enhance sexual wellbeing. Unfortunately, most cancer survivors are not informed about these treatments and do not get the support they need. Embarrassment, shame and lack of access are barriers blocking those in need from getting help.
Dr. Catalina Lawsin is leading a team of researchers from the University of Sydney and Cancer Council NSW on a project called “Rekindle” – aiming to improve sexual wellbeing after cancer.
Rekindle is a web-based resource for all (not just GI) cancer survivors and their partners, of all genders and sexual orientations. Rekindle teaches proven strategies to enhance sexual wellbeing and answers many of the questions survivors are left with after treatment. The project is mobile-optimised and can be accessed on a computer, tablet or smart phone in the privacy of home 24/7.
Rekindle provides support from other cancer survivors and partners who share their stories in video testimonials, aiming to make users feel less alone and more empowered to take control of their sexual wellbeing after cancer.
AGITG members are invited to consider referring suitable patients to Rekindle for advice or support as appropriate.
To sign up or find out more, visit the Rekindle website or call 1 300 85 44 37.