SIDEBAR: Dating among Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer


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How do you tell somebody you are dating that you have cancer or that you may not be able to have children? These are among the issues explored in “Dating and Disclosure for the Cancer Patient,” part of a new book, Sexuality and Cancer, scheduled for release in the fall by Springer, New York.

“The threats to the end of a relationship are high,” said Bradley Zebrack, PhD, MSW, MPH, Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who wrote the chapter on dating issues faced by adolescents and young adults with cancer. “The young people are thinking ‘I am tainted goods. Who is going to want to go out with me?’” Dr. Zebrack said. “If they have lost their hair from chemotherapy, a lot of young people don’t feel attractive. They don’t feel sexy. That just contributes to their sense of isolation.”■


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