Women diagnosed with breast cancer and their female partners sometimes experience anxiety when considering whether to tell members of their medical team about their sexuality. Many women are unsure whether their health professional will be understanding and some women worry that they will be discriminated against.
Breast cancer hasn't got anything to do with sexual preference, colour, race or religion. It strikes us all at random and we all feel the gamut of emotions that such a diagnosis arouses.
As the attitudes of health professionals vary, it’s important that you find the medical team to suit your needs as a couple. If you are unhappy about how you are being treated, or if you feel that you cannot be open about who you are, your partner might like to ask her GP for a referral to another specialist. If you are unsure where to start, the Australian Lesbian Medical Association (ALMA) has a list of health professionals who are recommended by lesbian women.
Taking care of your partner during her breast cancer can be challenging and upsetting. During this time it’s important that you also take time out for yourself and take care of your own health. Looking after your needs as well as those of your partner and family will help you cope better and also support your partner as best you can.
If you are looking for further support, you might like to consider the following resources:
Let’s be upfront about LGBTIQ+ communities that are affected by breast cancer.
Let’s be upfront about different perspectives during and beyond a breast cancer diagnosis.
Let’s be Upfront about the impact of cancer on sexuality and intimacy.
Let’s be Upfront about managing expectations.
Let’s be Upfront about the change in perspective that often follows a breast cancer diagnosis.
Let’s be Upfront about surprises and disappointments in relationships.
*This article does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.