Sex clinic helps women cancer surivors

Dec. 3, 2012 at 10:26 PM
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NEW HAVEN, Conn., Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Herbs, prescriptions, counseling and lifestyle advice can all help women with cancer improve their sex life, two U.S. doctors say.

Dr. Elena Ratner and Dr. Mary Jane Minkin of the Yale School of Medicine provide patients with options that can range from medical prescriptions to lifestyle changes at the Sexuality Intimacy and Menopause Clinic at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.

The clinic is the brainchild of gynecologists Minkin, who specializes in menopause, and Ratner, who specializes in oncology. Their partner, Dwain Fehon, provides interdisciplinary care to cancer survivors.

After a thorough evaluation, the specialists offer women a wide array of services, including acupuncture, individual or couples counseling, medical and herbal remedies, Reiki and even a Zumba class, the physicians said.

More than 6 million U.S. women are cancer survivors, but the treatments that saved their lives can cause life-altering symptoms, which can be embarrassing for women to discuss with their doctors, or they can be dwarfed by concerns about the cancer, the physicians said.

"I think many cancer specialists are of the belief that the patients sort of adopt: You're a survivor; you should be happy," Minkin said in a statement.

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