Coming out the other side of cancer and looking to the future is a time for everyone to reconcile their experience with themselves, their world and the people around them. It can also change relationships and the survivor’s perception of themselves and their body. Recognising this, and the fact that often it is difficult and challenging to ask some of these more intimate questions, there will be a free ‘women-only’ night for cancer survivors to talk about sex.
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.
‘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,’ said guest speaker, Kerrin Bradfield.
Ms Bradfield is an accredited Clinical Sexuality Educator with 15 years experience in the field of sexuality education, health promotion, psychosexual therapy and relationship therapy.
‘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,’ she says.
‘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, with the generous support of Primex.
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.’