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The sexual health of a human being depends on various factors. These may include the physiological make up of the individual as well as the emotional well being and finally also, the physical health of the person. Ailments, illnesses and diseases can have a huge bearing on the sexual health of an individual, and a cancer patient is no different. Cancer can have a profound effect on one's sexual health:
- Sexual Dysfunction: There are various kinds of cancer and cancer treatments that can suck the energy out of the patient. This also affects the sexual drive and health of the patient. Sexual dysfunction is a common by product of many such treatments, with at least 50% women patients suffering from the same, after breast and cervical cancer.
- Surgery: This is a factor that has a high relation with the sex drive of the patient. Any surgery that is related to cancer usually takes a toll on the body, and leads to a diminishing interest in various areas like food, and sex.
- Tumour: The size and location of the tumour has a major effect on the way a person behaves sexually after treatment and surgery. The tumour decides the severity and aftermath of the treatment and surgery, as well as the amount of tissue that is eventually removed. This can affect the performance and interest of a person in terms of sex.
- Chemotherapy: This kind of therapy and treatment as well as a lot of radiation can lead to side effects like nausea, vomiting, loose motions, dizzy spells, weight loss or gain, and even loss of hair. All these factors greatly affect the person's self image and self esteem which in turn have a bearing on how the person reacts sexually. Most men and women do not have the energy or the drive for sexual intercourse after chemotherapy.
- Prostate Cancer: Getting an erection and achieving ejaculation becomes quite a challenge with this kind of cancer because of the location of the prostate gland where the tumour is generally located.
- Hormones: While the hormones get altered during the treatment and also due to the hormonal treatment that is a part of the therapy followed for cancer patients, the psychological impact and the sexual disinterest is apparent in the patients as well.