Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work
JANUARY 19, 2017
From this article in Cure Today, I learned of a new and potentially helpful resource around sexuality for both patients and providers. As we all know, a diagnosis of and treatment for cancer is certain to influence sexuality and intimacy. The many reasons are both physical and psychological, but the facts remain that the subject is not well or frequently enough discussed and that up to 60% of cancer survivors end up with long-term sexual problems.
FIrst, here is the start of the article and a link to read more:
Sexual Healing for Cancer Survivors
Sexual health can be an uncomfortable or embarrassing topic to discuss for
many people, and for patients with cancer, survivors and their partners, it
can feel even more awkward. In fact, sex ranks among the top five unmet
needs of survivors, and a new digital health startup,
Will2Love, has been launched to help fill this void.
Sixty percent of cancer survivors — 9.3 million individuals in the United States alone — end up with long-term sexual problems, but fewer than 20 percent get professional help, according to Leslie R. Schover, PhD, Will2Love’s founder. Among the barriers she cites are overburdened oncology clinics, poor insurance coverage for services related to sexual health and an overall lack of expertise on the part of providers, many of whom don’t know how to talk to patients and survivors about these issues.
Sexual issues can affect every stage of the cancer journey. Schover, who hosted a recent webinar for health care practitioners on the topic, has been a pioneer in developing treatment for cancer-related problems with sexuality or fertility. After decades of research and clinical practice, she has witnessed firsthand how little training is available in the area of sexual health.
“Sex remains a low priority, with very little time devoted to managing sexual problems even in specialty residencies,” she adds.
And the new resource is a website called Will2Love:
LET'S GET PERSONAL
Will2Love.com offers free education, forums, webinars, and resources—but we will also personally guide you on your unique path to sexual wellness or parenthood. Learn more about our award-winning online self-help programs and our telehealth services via secure videoconference