Childhood cancer survivors are at risk for impaired psychosocial functioning, but limited research has focused on psychosexual outcomes in young adulthood. This qualitative study examined the perceived impact of childhood cancer on adult survivors’ romantic relationships and sexual/physical intimacy. Phone interviews were completed with adult survivors of childhood cancer, exploring the impact of cancer on (1) romantic relationships and (2) sexual/physical intimacy. Verbatim transcripts were coded using thematic content analysis until saturation was confirmed ( = 40). Survivors in this study ( = 40) were 23-42 years old ( = 29.8; 63% female) and 10-37 years postdiagnosis ( = 18.4). Regarding romantic relationships, 60% of participants reported a negative impact, while 55% of participants reported positive effects; ∼25% of participants reported no impact of childhood cancer on adult romantic relationships. Negative themes included fertility-related concerns, physical effects (e.g., self-consciousness), feeling emotionally guarded, and delayed dating. Positive themes were creating new perspectives, increased maturity, and stronger bonds with partners. Forty percent of survivors in this study perceived having fewer partners than peers. Regarding sexual/physical intimacy, 68% of participants reported a negative impact (themes: body image, fertility-related concerns, sexual/physical dysfunction), while 33% of participants reported no effects. This study demonstrates both positive and negative effects of childhood cancer on adult survivors’ romantic relationships, whereas effects on physical intimacy were predominantly negative. Further research is needed to inform effective psychosexual interventions, and health care providers should routinely address these topics in survivorship care.
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