Subject of sexuality with cancer patients often off limits

A new abstract reports that nurses and other health care providers are ill-equipped to handle discussions about the physical and psychological sexual side effects that come to patients with cancer.
Presented by nurses from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the abstract finds that while nurses play a key role in responding to cancer patients’ concerns, the subject of sexuality is all too often kept quiet in hospitals.

Citing lack of knowledge and confidence to bring up subjects of sexuality with patients as driving forces behind the lack of discussion, the abstract suggests that educating nurses on the subject is the best solution. A group at MD Anderson already has begun creating educational materials and classes for nurses, and the report suggests that sexuality training for nurses should begin in nursing school and continue throughout nurses’ careers.

Have you seen uncomfortable moments regarding the sexuality of cancer patients in your workplace?

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