New Book 'Sex and Cancer' Gives Hope to Millions of Couples

Leading physician on female cancers and a uterine cancer patient turn a "whispered" conversation into steps toward intimacy.

Shows such as “Sex and the City” have made the topic of sex more acceptable, but that hasn’t included an honest dialog on sex and cancer, an often unstated topic of interest to an American woman who faces a 37.5 percent risk of developing cancer over her lifetime. In 2017 alone it is estimated that more than 850,000 women will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States.

That silence around the sexual effect of cancer ended on July 8, 2017, when Sex and Cancer: Love, Intimacy and Romance After Diagnosis by Dr. Saketh Guntupalli and Maryann Karinch was published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

"This is an inspirational book that shares real life stories, research, and advice about relationships and overcoming sexual dysfunction after cancer.

Dr. Saketh Guntupalli, Author and Gynecologic Oncologist at the University of Colorado

“Conversations about restoring intimacy after cancer had been held in whispers,” said Karinch, uterine cancer survivor and author of 26 books, most of which address human health and behavior. “Dr. Guntupalli and I wanted to turn up the volume, giving proven solutions and real hope to couples affected by cancer.”

The book frankly addresses how to heal from cancer while retaining, or regaining, intimacy and quality in a loving relationship. Sex and Cancer is a guidebook to sexual health after any cancer.

"This is an inspirational book that shares real life stories, research, and advice about relationships and overcoming sexual dysfunction after cancer," said Dr. Guntupalli.

Dr. Guntupalli, a nationally renowned gynecologic oncologist, medical school professor, and researcher at the University of Colorado Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology noted that sexual dysfunction can be caused by both physical or psychological reasons and affects up to 70 percent of women with cancer.

The authors drew on Dr. Guntupalli’s research on the sexual effects of chemotherapy in women with gynecologic cancers. They also drew on the questionnaire his patients filled out about their sexual experiences during and after treatment, as well as talking with sex therapists and physical therapists doing research on this topic.

The book’s intimate, personal tone is enhanced by the stories throughout of women who have experienced these struggles on their own and share their advice. One patient who faced extreme surgeries to save her life explains how she and her husband discovered a “new normal” that involved a broad array of exercises in intimacy.

The couple had to go online and to other sources to piece together answers. But now women and couples like them can turn to this book as the source to get much-needed advice and tips from others who have navigated these concerns before.

Sex and Cancer will be a must-read book for millions of individuals and couples who deserve a normal life of sex and intimacy following the trials of cancer.

“Dr. Guntupalli masterfully tackles the complex implications for love and intimacy that are too often overlooked and under discussed when it comes to cancer,” said Dr. Bill Frist, a nationally recognized transplant surgeon, and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. “Regaining intimacy accelerates the path to regaining health, and this book is an insightful, powerful guide to doing exactly that.”


About University of Colorado Gynecologic Oncology

University of Colorado Gynecologic Oncology (CU Gyn Onc) is dedicated to treating, curing and providing support for women with gynecologic cancers or gynecological surgical needs, including the complex cases other doctors are not able to treat. CU Gyn Onc is the largest board-certified surgical gynecologic oncology team in Colorado and the only National Comprehensive Cancer Network center in the Rocky Mountain region. The practice is part of the University of Colorado Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and has locations at the CU Cancer Center in Aurora and at the Lone Tree Health Center. Learn more at

Media Contact: Jessica McLaughlin | | 303-382-2999

Source: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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