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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Body image

Breast cancer and its treatments may result in changes your overall appearance. Each stage of breast cancer treatment and recovery may bring new physical changes, which may also lead to new concerns about your appearance. Many of these changes may be temporary; others may linger for months or years, and some may be permanent. Knowing what to expect of your body and how treatment may affect it is the first step in taking control over the journey ahead. Learning how to prepare for and manage hair loss, breast changes or lymphedema may help improve not just your outlook but your quality of life.  

For example, massage therapy may reduce the size and color of scars. You may also learn from other breast cancer patients about dealing with hair loss, and using headscarves and wigs for comfort and style. A variety of tools are available to help manage and prevent lymphedema. Oncology rehabilitation may help with weight gain.

Body Image

Breast cancer and your body image

Breast cancer and its treatment may change your physical appearance, whether that means temporarily losing your hair after chemotherapy, or having a breast removed with a mastectomy, or experiencing lymphedema after surgery to remove your lymph nodes. These changes may affect how you feel about your body. Addressing body image issues before and as they arise is one of the most important ways breast cancer patients can recover a sense of normalcy and gain some control over their experience. Click on the links to the left learn more about coping with breast cancer treatment’s physical effects.


Last Revised: 06/22/2017