Sexuality, intimacy and cancer

This information has been prepared to help you understand the ways cancer and its treatment may affect your sexuality, sex life and relationships. 

Sexuality and intimacy are an important part of our wellbeing. Sexuality is part of how we experience physical and emotional closeness, and how we develop and maintain our intimate relationships. It is closely linked to how we relate to ourselves and others.

We hope this helps you find practical ways to adapt to any physical and emotional changes you experience, and discover new ways to enjoy intimacy. The information is relevant to all individuals, regardless of your sexual orientation and whether you are single or in a relationship. In this section, the term “partner” means husband, wife, de facto, same-sex partner, boyfriend or girlfriend.

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What are sexuality and intimacy?

Sexuality is about who you are, how you see yourself, how you express yourself sexually, and your sexual feelings for others. It can be expressed in many ways, such as by the clothes you wear, the way you move, the way you have sex, and who you have sex with.

Sexuality is different from sexual orientation, which is the attraction you feel towards another person, for example you might be heterosexual (“straight”), homosexual (“gay or lesbian”), bisexual or asexual. You might identify as LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex).

The role that sexuality plays in your life is influenced by your age, environment, health, relationships, culture and beliefs, opportunities and interests, and how you feel about yourself (self-esteem).

Sex is often considered intercourse with penetration, but it can also include touching, kissing, self-stimulation and oral sex. Sex is a way to experience intimacy, but intimacy is not necessarily about sex. Being intimate means being physically and emotionally close to someone else.

Intimacy is about:

  • loving and being loved
  • demonstrating mutual care and concern
  • showing you value another person and feeling valued in return.

Intimacy is also expressed in different ways: by talking and listening on a personal level; by sharing a special place or a meaningful experience; and through physical affection. Most people need some physical connection to others. Even for people who are not sexually active, touch is still important.


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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in May 2019
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