Study targets francophone women with gynecological cancer

Sylvie Rivard, a Ph.D student in the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University, is studying the effects of gynecological cancer on francophone women’s personal and sexual experiences.Through her study, Rivard is hoping to better understand the needs of francophone women living in northeastern Ontario, who have recovered from gynecological cancer.

“(This study) can (also) be a tool for health care providers to develop greater awareness and sensitivity regarding these women’s experiences,” Rivard said.

Rivard described the experiences of francophone women as potentially “burdensome,” since, if these women do not have access to a French-speaking physician, they have to somehow communicate “private subjects” in a second language. The result can leave these women “isolated.”

Francophone women who live in northeastern Ontario and who have had medical treatment for a gynecological cancer are eligible to participate in Rivard’s study. Women must be at least 20 years old, and not in menopause during the diagnosis.

“This research aims to understand francophone women’s personal experiences after gynecological cancer by asking participants to tell their personal story during an individual interview, and using an art medium to demonstrate what was experienced in their body, sexuality and in their person,” Rivard said.

Rivard can be contacted at

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