Cancer and personal relationships

Friday 11 May 2018

Diagnosis and treatment for cancer can lead to many emotional and also physical changes. These can in turn affect personal relationships , during treatment and also longer term.

Effects vary between individuals and may include changes in mood, personality, appearance, self image, fatigue as well ,lack of mobility , pain, loss of sexual function. discomfort (or fear of both). Either of you may also be struggling with adjusting to the balance between being a carer and being a partner

These changes can bring you closer together as a couple however, they can also create additional pressure on a relationship. You may feel you are drifting apart from your partner or, if you are single be concerned about starting a new relationship.

Opening the channels of communication is often the most helpful thing however, it can be hard to do. Many people feel embarrassed or not welcome to start conversations about sex or relationships with Healthcare professionals and you may also find it difficult to raise the topic with your partner. Research has also shown that healthcare professionals often fail to ask about personal relationships, for fear of offending someone or because they are embarrassed or because they assume patients will ask if they are concerned.

The result is that often, personal relationships don’t get much air time ……

If you are concerned about the effects of cancer on personal relationships You are welcome visit any of our Centres or join in our online chats

Best wishes


Maggie's cancer and personal relationships section

Blog originally  written by Robyn  Jan 2018

 updated April 2020

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