Each cancer patient who enters a clinic or exam room can be summed up in numbers, from blood cell counts and chemistry values to medication and radiation dosages.
But a patient is more than that. Each has a story, a life of caring, intimacy and relationships with others. Often, cancer and its treatment can change parts of those relationships, including sexuality, profoundly affecting patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life.
|Michael Krychman (Photo courtesy of Michael Krychman)|
Faculty and staff at the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center aim to give physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals the tools to discuss these issues with patients. The center sponsors a symposium Jan. 26 by international expert Michael L. Krychman, M.D.C.M., an associate clinical professor at the University of Southern California and former co-director of sexual medicine and survivorship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
“Breaking the Silence: Cancer and Sexuality — Tools and Techniques for Clinicians” focuses on practical guidance for professionals. Krychman will discuss barriers that interfere with communication about sexuality in oncology, as well as common sexual problems in men and women with cancer. He will share techniques and skills to initiate discussion with patients about sexual health and wellness. Krychman also will outline issues specific to diversity, including gender, age, race, religion and culture.
At least 40 percent of cancer patients may suffer some form of sexual dysfunction, according to published research. Unlike other complications from cancer treatment, sexual problems usually fail to resolve within the first year or two after treatment, and may actually worsen, according to the National Cancer Institute.
“Breaking the Silence” is part of the “Science of Caring” educational symposium series. It will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Jan. 26 in Argyros Auditorium, with a boxed lunch served afterward. Continuing medical education credits will be offered. For more information or to R.S.V.P. for the event or lunch, contact Lupe Santana at ext. 61877 or email@example.com.