Coping with changes to your body
Breast cancer and its treatment can be associated with dramatic changes to your body and the way you look and feel about yourself. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, and the associated bodily changes that they bring about, can impact a woman’s perception of her femininity, body image, sexuality, and overall quality of life. Some of the effects may be temporary, while others may be permanent.1,2
Learning to face the new you
Facing the new physical changes to your body can be difficult at times. As hard as it may be, it may be best to directly confront the physical changes to your body with the help of your partner whenever possible. This will make it easier for you, family members and friends to gain confidence in your appearance. You can also speak to your doctor or a counsellor who can give you advice and help in overcoming any inhibitions, embarrassments, or fears you may have.1
Dealing with menopausal changes
If you are having symptoms of menopause due to your treatment, don’t be afraid to tell your doctor or nurse about what you are feeling. Your healthcare team can provide advice and information on how these can be managed. Hair loss is a common side effect of some chemotherapies, but keep in mind that it is almost always temporary, and that your hair will grow back once the therapy is over.1
In considering any changes to your body related to breast cancer, raising your concerns to your doctor and care team is a key part of treatment.1
- https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/living-beyond-breast-cancer/your-body/your-body-after-breast-cancer-treatment [Last accessed Dec 2016].
- Begovic-Juhant A, et al. J Psychosoc Oncol. 2012;30(4):446-60.