Advice for other nurses when dealing with young couples affected by cancer

Caroline Wiltshire, Youth Support Coordinator of Weston Park Hospital Teenage Cancer Unit, Sheffield, UK talks about the advice she would give to other nurses when it comes to young couples affected by cancer. She believes that often people are uncomfortable discussing sex and relationships, especially with young people. As oncology specialists, most are comfortable with speaking about death and dying but again this can be tricky with young people as often they are scared of doing it wrong. Caroline Wiltshire advises to be open and honest. Sexuality and intimacy in relationships are so important to young people that it is crucial to discuss that with them. She advises that all nurses out there to ensure they discuss this with young people because without a doubt there will be some issues.
She explains that there is a window of opportunity to discuss this with young people, not only the young person who has a cancer diagnosis but also for their partners as well. If this can be dealt with while treatment is going on, that person can go on and have a much healthier relationship experience going forward.
Recorded at the 2016 Annual Conference of the UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS), held in Brighton, UK.

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