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Feb 21, 2012
The 3rd Symposium on Cancer and Sexuality

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    ISSC Secretariat
    COMM Santé
    Ms Sophie Berguer-Travers

    76, rue Marcel Sembat
    33 323 Bègles Cedex

    Phone: +33 (0)5 57 97 00 88
    Fax: +33 (0)5 57 97 19 15

Next ISSC Meeting

3rd Symposium Cancer and Sexuality

Friday, October 19th 2012 - Lyon - France - International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

Dear colleagues, dear friends,

It is a great pleasure to invite you to the 3rd Symposium of the International Society of Sexuality and Cancer (ISSC) that will be held in Lyon, France, on 19th October 2012. Until recently, the sexual side-effects or sequelae of both cancer and its treatment were too often considered a “price to pay” for surviving. However, even though the goal of cure remains a priority, the context of oncosexology is changing. As more and more patients live longer with cancer, both quality of life and well-being should include, irrespective of age, sexual health and intimacy as important parameters all along the cancer care continuum. However, published studies clearly indicate insufficient health professional and service response to the sexual consequences of cancer and its treatment with the exception of a few cancers (breast / prostate) or in specific centers or countries. Currently, the main obstacle lies in both a knowledge deficit and inadequate health care profile and access that must be corrected, especially as patients and their partners dare not speak about it.

In responding to the increasing demand from patients, partners and couples, the attitudes of patients and particularly that of health care professionals must change. This can be achieved through breaking the silence, legitimating the demand and by organizing better health care access. Treatment-induced sexual difficulties should benefit from the same quality of care and treatment as the other organic, psychological or social consequences, thus reducing the current worldwide inequality to oncosexological care access. As the challenge of cancer and sexuality clearly differs according to the health care system and sociocultural environment of each country, the solutions must be pragmatic and always well adapted to local resources. To establish routine access to oncosexology services will require us to inform and train all health care professionals in contact with cancer patients. Thus, knowledge and clinical skills are necessary for integrated assessment of the sexual well-being and consequences of people affected by cancer and its treatment in the practice of health professionals.

In response to these challenging problems, three topics will be discussed during the ISSC symposium: a) “Access to health care in oncosexology: problems and solutions”, b) “Cancer and sexuality: what differences between male and female?”, c) Proposition of international good clinical practice guidelines (AFSOS / ISSC) on “Cancer, sexual health and intimacy”. The guidelines developed in 2010 by the French-speaking cancer supportive care association (AFSOS) appear as the first worldwide guidance that provides a standard / prerequisite for this multi-theme topic regardless of the primary cancer diagnosis or management phase of the patient and highlight what every health care professional should know concerning how cancer / treatment impacts on both sexual health (fertility excluded) and intimate life. They enable health professionals to incorporate this knowledge into daily practice by sensitizing us to this quality of life dimension and to prevent / treat any sexual problem in patients / couples affected by cancer through better identification and management. The workshop objective is to promote international English-language good clinical practice guidelines on this topic by using the French guidelines as a starting position. We believe they will prove relevant and useful to different health care systems and sociocultural beliefs in a range of countries. We hope that this symposium will create opportunities for you, as health care professionals from
different disciplines, cultures and nationalities, to share knowledge and expertise on these challenging topics.
We look forward to welcoming you in Lyon to be part of these scientific advances and to encourage greater cross-disciplinary and international collaboration to further enhance the development of “Oncosexology” as a key component of modern and humanistic cancer care.

Pierre Bondil                                                     Isabel White
Chair 3rd Symposium                                            Secretary ISSC


For Scientific Program please click here


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