OncoLink

A Significant Journey: Breast Cancer Survivors and the Men Who Love Them

Reviewer: James Metz, MD
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: February 1, 2002

Author: The American Cancer Society
Format: VHS Color
Time: 20 minutes

This is an excellent short videotape that deals with the relationships between couples after a diagnosis of breast cancer. The participants range in age from 24-72 and come from all walks of life. Each couple is interviewed together. The video emphasizes couples dealing with the emotional, physical, and psychological issues surrounding breast cancer.

Breast cancer survivors have changes in the way they view their body image, femininity, and sexuality. The men are also emotional, afraid, and vulnerable. This tape reveals how a loving relationship with good communication can help a couple deal with these issues.

The video explains that developing good communication is the first step in establishing a support system. There are three keys to creating a relationship with effective communication. First, you must learn to love yourself and feel good about yourself. Second, the couple must learn to love one another and relearn to be intimate. Finally, the couple must learn to love together again.

The couples in the videotape share their experiences and give suggestions on working through these steps. They discuss romance and sexuality after a diagnosis with breast cancer. The couples demonstrate how they grew together and how their relationship strengthened. The host couple states "Don't let breast cancer overwhelm you. Take time for yourself and each other. There is life and love after breast cancer."

This videotape is highly recommended for all patients diagnosed with breast cancer and their significant others. The experiences of these couples may help you deal with the emotional and psychological issues involved with breast cancer.