Salivary gland cancer and your sex life | Cancer Research UK
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Salivary gland cancer and your sex life

Men and women discussing salivary gland cancer

This page tells you about how salivary gland cancer and its treatment can affect your sex life and relationships.

Changes in your appearance as a result of cancer treatment may make you feel less confident about sex. These changes affect the way you feel about yourself and how you think others see you. Try talking to your partner about these feelings. It’s hard for them to understand unless you explain how you feel. If you are able to talk to your partner about your worries, you will both gradually get used to your new situation and things will feel less awkward. A caring and loving partner can help to ease your concerns.

A few people have difficulty in speaking after surgery for some types of salivary gland cancer and this can affect your lovemaking. These difficulties are usually temporary and most people are able to talk normally within a few weeks after treatment. But speech difficulties can affect your self esteem. Remember, talking is not necessary during many sexual situations. Eye contact and touching are very powerful ways of showing your feelings.

You may find it helps to talk to your nurse or doctor about difficulties with your sex life after treatment. They can refer you for specialist help if needed.

There is more about sex after cancer in the main coping with cancer section.

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Updated: 1 July 2014