Cancer diagnosis and treatment affects the whole life of the patient but it also impacts their romantic and sexual relationships as well. Despite the huge ramifications for body image, sexual function, romance and intimacy, very few medical professionals are prepared to talk frankly about these facets of the illness.
Enter board certified specialist Dr Saketh Guntapalli, who works in obstetrics and gynecology, with specific training in oncology. He takes a realistic and compassionate approach to how cancer affects his patients’ lives and communicates openly with them about how diagnosis and treatment will impact their love lives. He shares this expertise in his new book Sex and Cancer: Intimacy, Romance and Love After Diagnosis and Treatment.
We talk about the issues faced by cancer patients and their loved ones, the failings of medical training to prepare doctors to talk about sex, and the variety of outcomes he has seen in his years of work, including gender differences in the likelihood a couple will break up in the wake of treatment.