Body image

Changes that occur to your body as a result of cancer treatment can affect how you feel about yourself. There may have been hair loss or surgical scars, physical limitations, an amputation or loss of a body part, sexual dysfunction, or weight gain or loss. The way you view or value your body influences the emotions that accompany any physical changes.

First, know that it’s okay to feel sad, upset, worried, or even angry about cancer’s lingering impact upon your body. Second, know that you are not alone. The key is to recognize your feelings as normal and to seek medical advice to help you cope and move forward.

  • Cancer treatments, whether surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or medical therapy, all impact people differently. Discuss your evolving or lingering thoughts about body image with your doctor or nurse.
  • Be kind to yourself. Recognize your thought patterns and consciously try to take control and turn them toward positive goals and thoughts.
  • Seek out a support group so that you can address questions and concerns with those who also have been in your footsteps.

We offer free counseling services at the Barnard Health and Cancer Information Center, if needed. Call (314) 362-7844 to make an appointment.