"You did not bring this into your marriage, cancer did... Cancer happened to you too, you are impacted by cancer too. You and your partner are in this heal together."
Dr Gaby Gutierrez, Oncosexologist and Marriage and Family Therapist
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, the United States documented 1,708,921 new cancer cases and 599,265 people died of cancer. Which translates to for every 100,000 people, 436 new cancer cases were reported and 149 people died of cancer.
Most couples experience changes in the relationship when one person has cancer. These can include changes in roles and responsibilities, sexual health, intimacy, parenting, and plans for the future.
Dr Gaby Guierrez is an Oncosexologist and Marriage and Family Therapist who sees couples and individuals who are struggling with the impact that cancer has on relationships.
Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer
Sexology interdisciplinary science that focuses on diverse aspects of human sexual behaviour and sexuality
"Since there is such an emotional component to cancer, why wouldn't you want a therapist to support you... Doctors simply do not have this therapeutic training," Dr Gaby states when reflecting on the importance of mental health treatment alongside and after medical interventions. Dr Gaby asserts that a lot of people don't realize that the cancer journey does not end at the treatment, and that many patients have this sense of guilt... really heavy sense of guilt, that they OWE their partner this pre-diagnosis sense of life.
Check out what Dr Gaby has to say regarding how to address the guilt, shame, and a rejuvenated sense of holistic expectations below!
Connect Dr Gaby on Instagram at sexpert_gaby