Episode 14: Impact of sexual health, barriers in cancer care for the LGBTQ community and the evolving role of the oncologist-sherpa with Dr. Don Dizon.


Key highlights:

  1. The changing role of the Oncologist - Starting as the Sherpa, transitioning to a mentor, and then breaking up!
  2. Awareness of barriers the LGBTQ community faces in accessing healthcare
  3. The distinction between addressing reproductive health and sexual health in cancer care

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About our guests

Dr. Don Dizon

Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO, is an oncologist who specializes in women's cancers. He is the director of women's cancers at Lifespan Cancer Institute and director of medical oncology at Rhode Island Hospital. He is also a professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His research interests are in novel treatments of women’s cancers and issues related to survivorship, particularly as they relate to sexual health after cancer for both men and women.

He is a prolific researcher and writer, and he has authored hundreds of publications, including peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. He is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, SWOG cancer research network, and the National Consortium of Breast Cancers, of which he has served as both vice president and president.

Watch the video of our episode on YouTube

  • 12 minutes 27 seconds:

    That person may be more interested in symptom control, in which case they would find more affinity in a metastatic brain tumor group. But they also may want to see people that look like them, that are like them who are going through this experience because of the threats metastatic brain cancer has on people’s sexual health.

  • 14 minutes 35 seconds:

    It’s what makes cancer care so multifaceted today. There’s no one person who can really manage all the aspects of cancer care. By that, I mean whole-person cancer care. It really brings in the importance of having a team approach.

  • 21 minutes 8 seconds:

    There’s a relationship between medical oncologists and their patients that is very difficult to walk away from for a lot of people. It almost feels like severing a relationship and it’s quite an unsettling thing.

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