Cancer and sex

Siobhan Hebron is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Los Angeles. She graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a B.A. in both Art and Art History. Siobhan was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in 2014 at the age of 24. Her treatment included radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery for secondary symptoms.

She has written two essays about life post-diagnosis for Elephants and Tea. Her latest post deals with cancer, weight and body image.

An earlier post from 2020 discusses sex, sexuality and the “infinite interpersonal and sexual complications for the AYA cancer patient”

As patients, we often have to remind healthcare professionals that we are complex people who bring our unique histories, beliefs, goals, attitudes, and priorities with us into exam rooms. Sex and sexuality are part of that human equation; I have yet to meet an illness that does not in some way affect a patient’s sex life or intimate relationships. That is why when we are not given information or told how our bodies will be affected over time, it implies that sex is beyond the pale or some other dehumanizing, ableist assumption. It implies that we are not expected to exist after cancer and AYAs simply deserve better.

Read Siobhan’s story here.