Cancer survivors get back in touch with their sexuality

SEX and intimacy can be a tricky topic to talk about but Northern Rivers cancer survivors now have the opportunity to ask any lingering questions they might want answered.

This special women-only free event in Ballina tonight will give female cancer patients and survivors a safe space to talk about sex and intimacy.

Clinical Sexuality Educator and guest speaker Kerrin Bradfield said it was important woman who have been through the harrowing ordeal as tough as cancer reconnect with their sexuality.

"Surviving cancer is a reason to celebrate, however it also comes with challenges and fears, and for many women an important part of healing can be reconnecting with their sexuality," Ms Bradfield said.

"Sexuality is a key part of our wellbeing, just like our mental or physical health, but is often overlooked by health professionals or dismissed as something that women shouldn't prioritise.

"There is a lot of mythology around about female sexuality and pleasure that can also be really unhelpful when trying to find a new normal," Kerrin said.

The event is being hosted by the Richmond Breast Care Nurse service, part of Northern NSW Local Health District.

Richmond Network Community Health Manager Lisa Beasley said the event was the first of its kind for the local area.

"This is a great chance for women to come together, ask questions in a safe space, and talk about their experience or what to expect during and after cancer treatment," Lisa said.

"Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone blocking medications can cause early menopause, which in turn can have a profound effect on sexuality.

"We have specialised cancer care nurses who provide support to women in Northern NSW throughout their treatment, but this event is a special occasion to cover issues that many women feel embarrassed about bringing up in a one on one situation."

The first ever Ladies' Night for cancer survivors is being held at Ballina RSL on Monday 27 May, from 5.30-8.30pm. The event is free.

To RSVP, phone Karen on 0439 438 576 or Monica on 0429 097 071 or email richmondBCN@health.nsw.gov.au .



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