- Cancer, sex, and sexuality
- How the male body works sexually
- Keeping your sex life going despite cancer treatment
- Erections and pelvic surgery to treat cancer
- Erections and pelvic radiation therapy
- Erections and chemotherapy
- Erections, desire, and hormone therapy
- Erections and the psychological effects of cancer treatment
- Ejaculation and cancer treatment
- Fertility and cancer treatment
- How common cancer treatments can affect sexuality and fertility
- Dealing with sexual problems
- Dealing with short-term problems
- Finding the cause of problems that appear to be permanent
- When is sexual counseling helpful?
- Is there a pill that will cure sexual problems?
- Is there a way to restore erections if the nerves or blood supply of the penis has been damaged?
- Methods to help with erections
- Can testosterone restore sexual functioning?
- What about herbs or natural cures for erection problems?
- Is there a way to make orgasms as intense as they used to be?
- Special aspects of some cancer treatments
- Feeling good about yourself and feeling good about sex
- Chemotherapy changes the way you look
- Changing negative thoughts
- Overcoming depression
- Dealing with grief and loss
- Rebuilding self-esteem
- Good communication: The key to building a successful sexual relationship
- Overcoming anxiety about sex
- Rekindling sexual interest
- Sexual activity with your partner
- The single man and cancer
- Men who have sex with men
- Frequently asked questions
- Professional help
- About the American Cancer Society
- Additional resources
Good communication: The key to building a successful sexual relationship
The most important part in keeping a healthy sexual relationship with a partner is good communication. Men often react to cancer by withdrawing. They think their partner will feel burdened if they share their fears or sadness. But when you try to protect each other, each suffers in silence. No couple gets through cancer diagnosis and treatment without some anxiety and grief. Why not discuss those fears with one another so that you shoulder the load together rather than alone?
Sexual sharing is one way for a couple to feel close during the stress of an illness. But if your partner has been depressed and distant, you may fear that a sexual advance might come across as a demand. You can bring up the topic of sex in a healthy, assertive way. It is usually not helpful to accuse (“You never touch me anymore!”) or demand (“We have to have sex soon. I can’t stand the frustration!”). Instead, try to state your feelings positively (“I really miss our sex life. Let’s talk about what’s getting in the way of our being close.”).
Last Medical Review: 10/28/2011
Last Revised: 10/28/2011