Nursing in Radiation Oncology

EDU 09 - Break Through the Taboo: Discussing Intimacy and Sexuality with Female Cancer Patients

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: Room W175

Session Type: Education
1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™
1.00 CAMPEP Credits
1.00 MDCB Credits

Connecting to others via intimate relationships is essential to humankind's sense of well-being. For cancer patients, sexual side effects of cancer treatment can cause significant interruptions to these close relationships. Many female cancer patients suffer in silence, reluctant to discuss body image, intimacy and sexual functioning with their care team. Women are at a disadvantage with studies showing it is far easier for men to receive guidance on sexual health than women. Initiating a discussion with the patient is an important first step in addressing the issue. Just as we are willing to discuss other side effects of radiation therapy such as nausea and fatigue, changes to appearance and sexual functioning should be addressed. Pharmaceutical, psychosocial and psychosexual interventions exist to improve quality of life relative to sexual wellness. This session aims to guide care providers in initiating taboo conversations, understand the wants and needs specific to female cancer patients, and manage unpleasant gynecological side effects. A holistic approach to restoring intimate relationships for patients and their partners, including case studies, will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:


Cindy Faigin, OCN, BSN, RN

Henry Ford Health System

Henry Ford Health System: Nurse Manager: Employee

Cindy Faigin, BSN, RN, OCN is the Manager of Nursing for the Department of Radiation Oncology with the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan. Ms. Faigin began her career in healthcare while attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has acquired over 20 years of experience in clinical care and healthcare administration. She maintains her certifications in radiation therapy nursing and chemotherapy/biotherapy nursing from the Oncology Nursing Society.

Currently, Ms. Faigin serves as a resource, educator, mentor, and nursing administrator for Henry Ford Health System’s 6 radiation oncology locations, including a site utilizing MR-guided therapy. She is also on the operations team for a new Henry Ford Cancer Institute building, slated to open in 2020.

Ms. Faigin has strong interests in survivorship, clinical navigation, cancer care pathway development, and supportive oncology services. Ms. Faigin volunteers with Game on Cancer and the Fresh Air Society. She has been active in numerous professional societies and currently serves on ASTRO’s Communications Committee and the Annual Meeting Education Committee.


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EDU 09 - Break Through the Taboo: Discussing Intimacy and Sexuality with Female Cancer Patients

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