Woman Cancer Sex, Second Edition, is an accessible and comprehensive resource for women living with and surviving cancer as they navigate specific challenges related to sex and sexuality.
Women who have survived cancer remain sexual beings despite the challenges of cancer treatment, and they often have nowhere to go with their questions and concerns. This text interweaves stories from clinical practice with evidence-based tips and interventions for a range of physical and emotional side effects resulting from cancer and its treatment. Each chapter describes the experience of a woman with a particular kind of cancer and a variety of related problems, including loss of libido, physical pain, body image issues, depression, and struggles communicating with a partner and health care providers.
Written by a leading voice in the field of cancer and sexuality, this book offers essential guidance surrounding questions about sexual health for women diagnosed with cancer. It will also be of use to health care providers including social workers and sex and couple therapists.
Table of Contents
Part I. The Basics 1. Why Sex Matters 2. How Do Things Work? Part II. How Cancer Affects Sexuality: The Stories 3. "When I Look in the Mirror, I See a Changed Person": Alterations in Body Image 4. "Sex is the Last Thing on my Mind Right Now": Loss of Libido 5. "It’s as if I’m Dead from the Waist Down": Arousal Disorders 6. "It Just Doesn’t Feel the Same—The Fireworks are Gone": Absence of Orgasms 7. "Sex isn’t Supposed to Hurt!": Painful Intercourse 8. "Will it Ever be the Way it Was?": Depression at the End of Treatment 9. "I Have Something to Tell You…": Disclosure 10. "How Do You Know How I feel?": When the Partner Feels Neglected 11. "We Were Talking About Starting a Family When This Happened": Facing Infertility 12. "I Don’t Have Much Time Left and I Want to Feel Loved": Sexuality at the End of Life 13. What Happens to the Partner When a Woman Gets Cancer? Part III. 14. Communicating About Sexual Difficulties 15. Lotions and Potions 16. Resources Appendix 1 Mindfulness-Based Exercises Appendix 2 Sensate Focus Exercises
Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a certified sexuality counselor and author of multiple books on the topics of cancer and sexuality and cancer survivorship.
"It might be said that many books offer good information regarding the impact of cancer on the whole life of the individual; however Anne Katz's book distinguishes itself from others in many important ways. It is written in a non-jargonized, non-intimidating, and down-to-earth fashion that is both engaging and deeply informative. Her style invites the reader into a safe space in which they can come to understand the potential issues and clearly see the value and do-ability of the rich and specific advice she includes on the great variety of life-changing issues that the woman with cancer may very well experience. Dr. Katz's use of real people examples further humanizes the entire text. One should also note that she is fearless in covering the broad and delicate issues in a way that offers true hope." – Barbara Rabinowitz, PhD, founder, National Consortium of Breast Centers, Warsaw, Poland
"This book is a must-have for all health care providers working with cancer survivors. The combination of real stories and evidence-based information on assessing and managing sexual health concerns after cancer sets this book apart. I will have a copy at my research office and clinical office, and recommend it to all survivors!" – Lori A. Brotto, PhD, R. Psych., professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of British Columbia, Diamond Health Care Centre; executive director, Women's Health Research Institute; Canada Research Chair in Women's Sexual Health, Vancouver, Canada
"Sexual health is an important component of our lives. Dr. Katz helps people to see the importance of sexual health to individuals who have cancer and to those who have been treated for cancer, as well as for their families. A very important read." – Dr. Beverly Whipple PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emerita, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
"A pioneer in the area of female sexuality in the context of cancer and its sequelae, Dr. Anne Katz has yet again brought her impressive clinical and research acumen to bear on this important topic. Her life-affirming approach is importantly punctuated by a rare clarity, a refreshing practicality, and a compassionate honesty about the very real complexities involved in navigating sex through and after cancer. This book will be invaluable both to clinicians and to the women they work with." – Marta Meana, PhD, past president, Society for Sex Therapy and Research; professor of psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA
"In the new edition of Woman Cancer Sex, Anne Katz once again gives her expert and compassionate voice to the sexual issues women navigating cancer face. She sensitively describes what is too often unsaid – a cancer diagnosis and treatment can significantly affect self-esteem, sexuality, and relationships. Dr. Katz’s vast research and clinical experiences, along with poignant personal patient stories, are woven throughout the book and give the reader the most up-to-date research and guidance. Woman Cancer Sex is an integral addition to the resources for any women diagnosed with cancer and her partner." – Cobie Whitten, PhD, PsychoOncology Consultant, Olympia, USA
"Dr. Katz's book, Woman Cancer Sex, is at once an authoritative and highly accessible book that I find myself referring back to even in the context of my own clinical practice. This new edition should be a necessary addition to every library housed within cancer centers and hospitals, so that providers and people directly impacted will be able to access it – and bring much needed clarity to a situation which we, sadly, are not yet adequately addressing in routine care. Congratulations, Dr. Katz, on a hugely important accomplishment." – Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO, director, Women’s Cancers, Lifespan Cancer Institute; director of medical oncology, Rhode Island Hospital; professor of medicine, Brown University, Providence, USA
"If Anne Katz didn't exist, someone would have had to invent her. With unbounded energy and determination, this woman from Manitoba has nearly single-handedly put the field of cancer-related sexuality studies on the map. Woman Cancer Sex, originally published in 2009, first brought Dr. Katz's clear, empowering voice to female cancer survivors struggling with sexual concerns. This revised edition, thoroughly updated for the 2020s, makes good on the earlier book's promise. With compelling stories drawn from the many thousands of women Dr. Katz has helped over the last several decades, this new edition of Woman Cancer Sex is the indispensable guide for any woman searching for a whole-hearted sexual life after cancer." – Stephen Snyder, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York City, USA; author, Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship
"To paraphrase Dutch physician and oncosexologist, Woet Gianotten, patients are often afraid to talk to their doctors about sex, and doctors are afraid to talk to their patients about sex…but sex therapists are often afraid to talk to patients about cancer! No one has done more or better than the brilliant Anne Katz to make at least that last part far less true today. But being required reading for any aspiring sex therapist is an aside–Dr. Katz’s engaging and readable style is talking directly to women with cancer, and survivors of cancer’s sometimes brutal treatments, boldly addressing the effects of both on their sexuality. Like in her books for men and young people with cancer, Anne has addressed every possible difficult discussion about sexuality between women and their intimate partners, as well as their medical, mental, and sexual health care providers." – Richard M. Siegel, PhD, LMHC, CST-S, codirector, Modern Sex Therapy Institutes, Florida, USA
"Relying on a frank and honest approach, Dr. Katz delivers an enormous amount of education and support in Woman Cancer Sex. It is rare to find a single resource that is so indispensable for female cancer survivors who struggle with sexual side effects of cancer. As a clinician and researcher, I am enormously grateful to be able to recommend this book to my patients." – Sharon Bober, PhD, founding director, Sexual Health Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
"Anne Katz is the world’s top expert in the field of cancer and sexuality. Every page of her book provides the kind of information that is essential but surprisingly hard to find. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to any woman who has cancer and to her partner if she has one. Both she and her partner should read it; it will be the conversation starter that many couples desperately need." – Paul Joannides, PsyD, author, Guide to Getting It On