Male sexuality and cancer: The impact below the belt (#113)
Introduction: The experience of cancer is known to impact on many aspects of life. Sexuality and sexual functioning is an often overlooked area in cancer care. The impact of cancer on sexuality and sexual functioning can be significant both physically and psychologically. Sexual difficulties in the context of cancer can also impact more broadly in terms of intimate relationships as well as social and workplace relationships due to the psychological impact on the individual. Identity, masculinity and self confidence can be significantly affected by the impact of cancer on sexual functioning for many men. Therefore, exploring the impacts of sexual function for men is an important aspect of cancer care.
Method: This paper will summarise the literature and present a summary of the impact of cancer on the experience of sexuality and sexual functioning for the man. From a psychological perspective the issue of men, sexuality and cancer will be presented and clinical interventions will be explored.
Conclusion: Acknowledgement of the impact of sexual function on the male psyche is imperative if we are to fully support the man experiencing cancer. Engaging men early on in their cancer experience to process not only the physical but also the emotional and psychological impact will enhance the experience and lead to improved outcomes.