Contest Entries

Sex After Breast Cancer

Entrants: Georgie Binks

Affiliation: Best Health

Consumer/Feature (small)

Year: 2011

Place: Third Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

Judges’ comments: This is a sensitive subject rarely covered in consumer articles about breast cancer survivors, but one that must surely weigh heavily on the minds of women diagnosed with the disease. Georgie Binks treats it with dignity and compassion through interviews with Canadian breast cancer survivors whose experiences indicate that there are relatively few resources available to help women with the sexual problems they may face but that some can still succeed in regaining intimacy with their partners.

List date(s) this work was published or aired.

September 2011
See this entry.

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

This is a story about the sex lives of women after they have undergone treatment for breast cancer. It is a frank discussion of their situation, enlightening, heartbreaking and still empowering. It reveals there are not many resources for these women but that they still attempt and succeed in some cases to have intimacy with their partners.

Explain types of documents, data or Internet resources used. Were FOI or public records act requests required? How did this affect the work?

I examined the Journal of Sexual Medicine online and purchased Intimacy After Breast Cancer as well as the book Intimacy After Cancer on Kindle. I contacted the Canadian Cancer Society after visiting their website and they set me up with interview subjects.

Explain types of human sources used.

I interviewed three women with breast cancer from different parts of Canada, as well as Gina Maisano, author of Intimacy After Breast Cancer, Mary Panjari about her study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, and Maureen McGrath, a registered nurse in Vancouver.

Results (if any).


Follow-up (if any). Have you run a correction or clarification on the report or has anyone come forward to challenge its accuracy? If so, please explain.


Advice to other journalists planning a similar story or project.

Bring your hankies. These women have been through a lot and are very brave, but their stories are very touching.