Sexuality for the Man With Cancer

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Dealing with grief and loss

It’s common to feel grief over the losses linked to cancer diagnosis and treatment. You may also notice sadness, anger, and even hostility toward those close to you. Cancer changes your sense of self, that is, how you think of your body and yourself. This can disturb your well-being and affect how you see yourself sexually. It can also affect your ability to maintain relationships.

Grief is a normal response as you give up your old ideas of yourself and begin to find new ways to cope with the changes in your life. It may take time for you to recognize some of these losses and changes. This means new losses may come up even after you think you are finished grieving. This, too, is normal. It can help if you can share your grief with someone close to you. If there’s no one near you that you want to confide in, you might prefer to see a mental health professional. Just as it’s important to take care of pain in your body, painful feelings also need to be dealt with.

Last Medical Review: 08/19/2013
Last Revised: 08/19/2013