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Development of a Patient Education Resource for Women With Gynecologic Cancers

Marianne Matzo
Catherine Graham
Cassandra L. Troup
Betty Ferrell
CJON 2014, 18(3), 343-348 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.343-348

The diagnosis of gynecologic cancer has a dramatic impact on the emotional, social, and sexual domains of a woman's life. The complexities of human sexuality are broad, particularly for people coping with life-threatening illness. Healthy sexual expression can affirm love, relieve stress and anxiety, foster hope, accentuate spirituality, and distract one from the emotional and physical sequelae of chronic illness. This article reports on the development of a sexual health education guide for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer who experienced a recurrence and were undergoing treatment. Extensive literature and the findings of this study document that patients often feel that sexuality has been ignored in their cancer care. This article provides examples of the responses from study participants and the resulting integration of those responses into the guide.

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