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Aug 23, 2012
The deadlines for abstract submission and registration for the 3rd Symposium Cancer and Sexuality are extended until 15th September!!! Click here for more information about the meeting.
Jul 5, 2012
The scientific program for the 3rd Symposium on Cancer and Sexuality is available. For a download of the full program, please click here.
Feb 23, 2012

Flyer available for the 3rd Symposium on Cancer and Sexuality!

See homepage, click on the flyer and you will see the printable version, which you can print and use to inform your colleagues about this next Symposium


Contact us

    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

History and Aims


One of the hidden consequences of cancer is its impact on sexuality and the development of treatment induced sexual problems. Patients often feel unable to communicate with their clinical team about sexual matters, and even when they do, there may be a lack of appropriately trained personnel to work with them. This can have a hugely negative impact on their quality of life, even when the cancer has been treated successfully. As a response to such observations, a multidisciplinary international society was formed in 2002 to focus on this important area of clinical care, the International Society for Sexuality and Cancer (ISSC).

In June 2002, during the 6th Congress of the European Federation of Sexology (EFS) in Limassol, Cyprus, there was a session on ‘Sexuality and cancer’ chaired by Luca Incrocci. Worried about the very limited interest in this area, four of the attending professionals browsed on the idea of taking action: Susan Carr, MD (Scotland), Woet Gianotten, MD-psychotherapist (Netherlands), Luca Incrocci, radiotherapist (Netherlands), and Michael Quinn, oncogynecologist (Australia). With the addition of Peter Heintz, oncogynecologist (Netherlands), this group worked out the idea of founding an organization. This resulted in the first face-to-face meeting on October 16th 2002 in Amsterdam.
That was where the society was founded and the name ISSC was decided.

Founding meeting 16-10-2002
(Woet Gianotten, Luca Incrocci, Susan Carr, Peter Heintz, Michael Quinn)

Being a small society, ISSC’s main mission was to raise awareness of the unmet needs in both professional communities. 

The oncology world should pay more attention to sexuality and intimacy, whereas the sexology and sexual medicine world should pay more attention to the area of cancer.

Since its foundation, the ISSC board members organised many symposia and workshops. Sometimes as a separate activity, usually integrated in national and international congresses and meetings of both professions.
After some years we were ready to organize our first independent full-day meeting.

'The 1st Rotterdam Symposium on Cancer and Sexuality, Oncosexology: A new discipline?' took place on the 11th of July 2006.
The whole day was dedicated to cancer, its treatment and the consequences on sexual functioning, in both males and females. The symposium has given health-care providers from different disciplines, cultures and nationalities the possibility to share their knowledge and expertise on this challenging topic.

The 2nd Rotterdam Symposium on Cancer and Sexuality, Controversies on Cancer and Sexual Function was held on the 4th of June 2010.
The symposium was of interest  to all those who work with people whose sexual lives have been affected by cancer and its management. This symposium explored challenging, controversial and neglected aspects of sexual recovery in oncology, including: penile rehabilitation strategies, hormone replacement for low desire in hormone responsive cancers, sexuality and body image in head and neck cancer and the restoration of intimacy in serious illness.

The 3rd  Symposium on Cancer and Sexuality was held in Lyon, France on the 19th of October 2012.
This day was jointly organized by ISSC and IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon).
On 18th October the international symposium was preceded by the first French day on cancer and sexuality: Premières rencontres cancer et sexualité’, organized by AFSOS (Francophone Association for Cancer Care) and the Rhône-Alp Regional Health & Cancer Network. On both days much attention was paid to establishing and implementing guidelines on how to integrate the topics of sexuality and intimacy in cancer care. 
The international day started with paying attention to male-female differences in cancer and treatment. In the afternoon a very productive focus-group session was held on various aspects of the guidelines developed by the French group of Pierre Bondil.


Over the years, increasing knowledge, changing attitude and growing skills are gradually merging into the development of this new field of oncosexology.


The principal aim of the ISSC is to heighten awareness about the sexual consequences of cancer and its treatment and to promote the contribution of sexual medicine and sexological practice in oncology through fostering research, encouraging training and providing a forum for discussion at international meetings.

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