Today, a cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean a life end. With advanced treatments and therapies, a patient’s future typically looks bright, with years ahead to enjoy children, grandchildren and retirement.
For survivors and their partners, guidance and support groups to help life get back to a “new normal” are plentiful. There is information about nutrition, exercise, side effects, family empathy, even make-overs and wardrobe advice.
Dr. Kidanu Birhanu of RenewYou Health, however, noticed quite a gaping hole in all this encouragement. “No one seems to address sexuality after a cancer diagnosis. It’s as if a patient is suddenly no longer interested in this most basic and human of functions.”
Birhanu, MD, Fellow of International Society for The Study of Women’s Sexual Health and a member of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America, knows that a cancer diagnosis, or surgery such as a hysterectomy, affect sexual functioning and make a significant impact on relationships, self-esteem and overall wellness. “Good sexual health is good for your overall health. It relieves stress, boosts your immune system, reduces pain and helps you sleep better at night.”
Now, in partnership with The Cancer Institute at Advocate Christ Medical Center, Dr. Birhanu is presenting “Sexuality After a Cancer Diagnosis” August 22nd from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The free seminar, with a light snack provided, will take place at Advocate Christ Hospital, 4440 W 95th Street in Oak Lawn, in the Christ Conference Center, Lower Level Room 0636 A & B.
Dr. Birhanu will address:
• effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery on desire and physicality
• function changes that might be experienced
• comfort levels with sexual behaviors and routine
• feelings of “am I now a caretaker instead of a emotional and sexual partner”?
• communicating new attitudes and preferences to your partner
• how to resolve these physical issues and emotional feelings to reestablish trust in this new relationship, regain intimacy and experience satisfaction
Says Birhanu, “Whether you’ve experienced cancer of any kind, prostate surgery or a hysterectomy, there are therapies, treatments and medications to help regain desire and function. Healthy sexuality doesn’t have to end with a surgery or cancer diagnosis. You can navigate these changes and establish another aspect of your “new normal,” your life after cancer – a comfortable sex life that enriches your relationship.”
For more information, visit www.renewyouhealth.com. To register for this free event, call 1-800-3-ADVOCATE (1-800-323-8622) and use event code 1C51.