- Cancer, sex, and sexuality
- How the male body works sexually
- How pelvic surgery to treat cancer can affect erections
- How pelvic radiation therapy can affect erections
- How chemotherapy can affect erections
- The psychological effects of cancer treatment on erections
- How cancer treatment can affect ejaculation
- How cancer treatment can affect fertility
- How cancer treatment can affect sexual desire and response
- How cancer treatments can affect sexuality and fertility
- Dealing with sexual problems
- What treatments are available to help with erections?
- When is sexual counseling helpful?
- 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 concerns linked to certain cancers and their treatment
- Feeling good about yourself and feeling good about sex
- Chemotherapy also changes the way you look
- Overcoming depression
- Dealing with grief and loss
- Good communication: The key to building a successful sexual relationship
- Overcoming anxiety about sex
- Rekindling sexual interest
- Sexual activity with your partner
- Keeping your sex life going despite cancer treatment
- The single man and cancer
- Men who have sex with men
- Frequently asked questions
- Professional help
- American Cancer Society programs
- To learn more
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