Body image after breast cancer: regaining your confidence
Breast cancer treatments can leave people dealing with many physical and emotional changes. The side effects of treatment whether temporary or permanent can profoundly affect the way a woman views her body. Women describe feeling a ‘loss of self’ – who they were before cancer – together with a loss of femininity anxiety and depression and not feeling sexy or sexually attractive. Yet many women fear that compared to the life-threatening nature of their illness body image issues are seen as trivial.
It takes time.
When you have had breast cancer it can take time to get used to such changes and to adjust to life after hospital treatment.
Surgery causes scars and loss of feeling and sensitivity; hormone treatments can bring menopausal symptoms; chemotherapy can cause hair loss and changes to skin and nails. Treatments can also cause weight gain. For all these reasons it can be hard to revive self-esteem and confidence particularly when partners, friends and family might accidentally be adding pressure because they are anxious to move on and get back to normal.”