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Online Resources


Coping with Pain
Pain Clinical Updates from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
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FDA Clarifies How to Dispose of Opioids - flush them down the toilet 
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FDA Consumer information
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Sexuality for the Woman with Cancer  American Cancer Society
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Sexuality for the Man with Cancer  American Cancer Society
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Sexuality and Reproductive Issues for Patients (available in English & Spanish) & Professionals 
National Cancer institute
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Sexuality and Cancer
Cancer Supportive Care Programs
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Education for
Patients, Families & Survivors

Living with Grief: Making it Through the Holidays
November 12; 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Sponsored by Hospice Southeastern Connecticut
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Follow-Up Testing 101
November 18; 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Teleconference. Sponsored by Living beyond Breast Cancer
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Meetings & Continuing Education


November 13; 7:30am - 4:00pm
Connecticut: Meeting the Challenges of Professional Health
Wesleyan University, Middletown
Sponsored by HAVEN - Health Assistance InterVention Education Network

December 3; 8:30am - 3:30pm

Connecticut Cancer Partnership Annual Meeting 
Keynote speaker: Dr. Thomas Lynch, Jr. Yale's West Campus
, Orange
Register by November 16 via Barbara Lumpkin

April 21
4th Annual Yale Survivorship
Symposium: Sexuality and Survivorship
Stay tuned for more information.


November 13; White Plains, NY
A Team of Partners in Palliative Care:  Challenges and Choices in Ethics of Care at End of Life 
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March 3 - 6; Boston
Annual Assembly of AAHPM and HPNA
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November 2009          Volume 3 No 10
Sexuality and Cancer
Sexuality is an enormously important aspect of self.  It encompasses a complex array of psychosocial, emotional, and behavioral elements throughout life and it is just as important to people with cancer as in the non-cancer population. The professional literature documents a very significant clinical deficit in recognition and assessment of issues of sexuality in all groups and at all phases of the cancer experience. Sexual dysfunction has been described as the most common long-term consequence of cancer treatment. The proportion may reach as high as 90% in some cancers. Yet sexual issues are among those that oncology professionals are least comfortable addressing.  Fertility preservation and sexual dysfunction are among the least discussed issues in cancer survivors of all ages. In one study, less than half of gynecologic oncologists took a sexual history. Patients tend to discuss everything about their cancer experience with other patients in the treatment room or waiting room - except sexuality. When neither professionals nor patients raise the topic patients feel isolated and lonely.
Cancer's effects on sexuality may be based on anatomic, psychological, hormonal, or social changes. Direct effects include loss of libido in both men and women; erectile dysfunction; decrease or loss of sensation in sexual organs; loss of vaginal lubrication; thinning of vaginal mucosa leading to painful intercourse; retrograde ejaculation; loss of fertility; or early menopause. Indirect effects can be just as profound as direct effects. For example, fatigue, pain, depression, lymphedema, amputation, incontinence, and presence of an ostomy may all have a significant impact on self-image and sexual expression.
Sexual rehabilitation often requires active participation of a partner. A multidisciplinary approach is usually most helpful so that both medical and psychosocial issues are addressed. Ninety percent of sexual dysfunction may have a physiologic origin, but 75% also have a psychological component, according to one report. There is a multiplicity of approaches to fertility and sexuality in both men and women that could be applied if the issues were addressed openly by professionals, patients, parents (of children with cancer), and survivors.

In the News

November is...
Hospice & Palliative Care Month
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Time To Grow a Mustache To Support Men's Health
Specifically, raising money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Once again, Yale-affiliated men are banding together as "The Handsome Dans" to grow mustaches in support of prostate cancer research.
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New York Times Articles
After Cancer, Ambushed by Depression

At Home in Solitude as a Spirit Recovers

After a Death, the Pain That Doesn't Go Away

Connecticut Cancer Plan
The Connecticut Cancer Plan, 2009-2013, is the product of nearly 2 years of dedication and collaborative efforts among more than 100 members of the Connecticut Cancer Partnership.
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Proceeds from Dr. Mel's Connecticut Climate Book to Benefit Yale Cancer Center
Dr. Mel Goldstein, meteorologist for WTNH News Channel 8, has written his second book entitled Dr. Mel's Connecticut Climate Book, to be released this month. Dr. Mel's first book was The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weather (1999). Proceeds from his second book, as proceeds from the first did, will support the Dr. Mel Goldstein Multiple Myeloma Research Fund at Yale Cancer Center.
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International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
Each October the IASP announces its focus for the coming year. 2009-2010 Global Year Against Musculoskeletal Pain.
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Journal Watch

Adamsen L, et al. Effect of a multimodal high intensity exercise intervention in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: randomised controlled trial.
BMJ. 2009;339:b3410.

Bush SH & Bruera E. The Assessment and Management of Delirium in Cancer Patients.
Oncologist. 2009;14(10):1039-49.

Dizon DS. Quality of Life After Breast Cancer: Survivorship and Sexuality.
Breast J. 2009;15(5):500-504.

Escalante CP, et al. Cancer-Related Fatigue: The Approach and Treatment.
J Gen Intern Med.
2009; 24(Suppl 2):412-6.

Higginson IJ. Palliative care: no longer a luxury but a necessity?
J Pain Symptom Manage
. 2009;38:1-3.

Hughes MK. Sexuality and Cancer: The Final Frontier for Nurses.
Onc Nurs Forum.

Jotkowitz A, Zivotofsky AZ. "Love Your Neighbor Like Yourself": A Jewish Ethical Approach to the Use of Pain Medication with Potentially Dangerous Side Effects.
J Palliat Med.
2009 Oct 14.

Latka RN, et al. Adherence to a randomized controlled trial of aerobic exercise in breast cancer survivors: the Yale exercise and survivorship study.
J Cancer Surviv.
2009 Sep;3(3):148-57. [from the Yale School of Public Health]

Lowe SS, et al. Associations Between Physical Activity and Quality of Life in Cancer Patients Receiving Palliative Care: A Pilot Survey.
J Pain Symptom Manage.
2009 Sep 21.

Puchalski C, et al. Improving the quality of spiritual care as a dimension of palliative care: the report of the Consensus Conference.
J Palliat Med.
2009 Oct;12(10):885-904. [New Guidelines for Incorporating Spirituality in End-of-Life Care]

Sagen A, et al. Physical activity for the affected limb and arm lymphedema after breast cancer surgery. A prospective, randomized controlled trial with two years follow-up.
Acta Oncol. 2009;48(8):1102-10.

Wittmann D, et al. The psychosocial aspects of sexual recovery after prostate cancer treatment.
Int J Impot Res. 2009 Mar-Apr;21(2):99-106.