Cancer and Sexual Health

Cancer and Sexual Health studies

Open for recruitment

The BREAST Study aims to support female breast cancer survivors with the changes that breast cancer treatment can bring to their sexual lives. Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and hormone blocking therapies disrupt sexual function. This can impact how a breast cancer survivor feels about themselves and in their intimate relationships. Over half of breast cancer survivors experience ongoing difficulties with sexual desire, sexual arousal and/or genital pain following breast cancer treatment.

This study is a randomised clinical trial which will compare two effective treatments in addressing a range of sexual health concerns: a mindfulness-based treatment and sexuality education. Mindfulness-based treatments use an acceptance-based approach to encourage present-focused and non-judgmental attention. Sexuality education focuses on sharing accurate information about aspects which facilitate sexual health and prevent sexual distress or pain in the context of breast cancer.

Participants will be randomly assigned to either a mindfulness-based treatment group or a sexuality education treatment group. Groups treatments will run weekly as a 2-hour session for 8-weeks. Groups will meet virtually using a secure web-based video platform.   Participation involves completing handouts, doing exercises at home and completing an online questionnaire at 3 timepoints: before the first session, shortly after the final session and at 6 months following the final session.

Findings from this study will inform treatments to improve the sexual health and quality of life of breast cancer survivors.

For more information see the full description of this study.


Please use this form to send us your contact details and the study coordinator, Shannon Woo, will connect with you:

BREAST Study Contact Form

Alternatively, you can send an email to:

- Closed for recruitment

In the Movember INTROSPPECT Study, couples experiencing intimacy concerns after prostate cancer treatment will be randomly assigned to either mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), or control (no treatment) groups. Those assigned to treatment groups are invited to attend 2 hour long weekly group sessions with 4-6 other couples for 4 consecutive weeks. Treatment groups involve: training in either mindfulness or CBT skills, some education about healthy sexuality, and daily homework to practice guided mindfulness exercises or CBT tools. Some exercises are done alone, and some as a couple. Both members of the couple will complete 3 sets of online questionnaires at home (20-30 mins duration); one at baseline, at 6-weeks, and one again at 6 months. Couples assigned to the control group will also complete questionnaires at the same time points with no treatment. Both members of the couple provide signed and dated informed consent form

For more information see the full description of this study.

Contact: Nikky Kundliwal

- Closed for recruitment

Prostate cancer treatments are known to impact the sexual lives of men and their partners. Although treatments do exist to help rehabilitate sexual functioning, approximately 50% of people stop using these treatments after 6 months. Researchers at UBC and the Vancouver Prostate Centre are developing a new treatment using mindfulness-based therapy to help couples cope with the changes that prostate cancer bring to their sexual lives.

Couples are invited to attend 2 hour long weekly group sessions for 4 consecutive weeks. During those 4 weeks, there is daily homework involving completion of handouts or practicing guided mindfulness exercises. Some exercises are done alone, and some as a couple. The treatment groups involve mindfulness-training, education about healthy sexuality, and some other skills. As part of the IMPPACT study, both members of the couple will also complete 3 questionnaires; one before the treatment begins, one immediately after the treatment ends, and one again 6 months later. These questionnaires take approximately 20-30 minutes and are completed online.

 Contact: Jenn Bossio

- Closed for recruitment

The pilot of this intervention suggests that a professionally-facilitated, online support group where women can share and receive high quality information, and participate at their convenience in a safe and anonymous environment may be beneficial to women experiencing psychosexual distress related to gynecological cancer and its treatment. The aim of this randomized control trial is to demonstrate the efficacy of this intervention. In addition to participation over 12 weeks on the online forum, participants will be asked to complete questionnaires a month prior to the commencement of the study, after the 12 week intervention has ended, and again 4 months after that. In addition to completing these online assessments participants will also participate in an in-person interview at the 4 month follow up time point to discuss their experiences.

Contact: Adrienne Marsh