Although social workers have long been instrumental in helping people through sexual trauma and sexual identity issues there continues to be a lack of comfort with the subject of problematic and normative sexual functioning. Social workers and physicians could provide essential assistance to people struggling sexually during and after cancer treatment just by bringing the subject up.

This chapter examines the effects of cancer treatment on sexual functioning and specific recommendations for social workers to help clients contend with the often devastating and long-lasting implications cancer treatment has on human sexuality. Looking at the physical, emotional and psychological factors that contribute to sexual dysfunction as a result of cancer treatment, and guiding clients through the difficult work of discovery and communication can help people regain a level of functioning or discover new ways to sexual satisfaction.