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Body Image & Cancer

Reconnecting with your body, and recovering from your trauma

Body Image and Cancer

 

Cancer triggers a huge number of upheavals in the body, both physical and emotional. These are stressful to deal with alongside the impacts of different cancer treatments and the strength required for recovery.

The physical symptoms of cancer may well force changes on the body. This may affect how a sufferer perceives their body, reducing self-confidence and self-esteem, and resulting in body image issues.

Here are some of the concerns you may experience with your body following cancer treatment:

  • You are reluctant to let other people see you – this may extend to fear of leaving the house
  • You find being intimate difficult
  • You are ashamed of your body – because of severe weight loss, loose skin or hair loss
  • You are unhappy with the person you have become
 

Emerging Body Image Distress During Cancer Treatment

 

Some of the physical changes, such as weight loss and hair loss, are temporary, whilst procedures such as amputations, mastectomies or colostomy leave permanent scars.

Both types of change can affect the way a person feels about their body, or the attitudes they feel other people may have about them. Dealing with the perceptions, judgements and responses of other people may be challenging.

The judgements and assumptions that become self-imposed or are projected unfairly on to others feel very real and are very upsetting for the person involved. If the physical change prevents previously regular activities, it may come to be a symbol of the fact that life will never be the same again, and to be a catalyst for depression and anxiety.

It is not unusual for cancer survivors, who have suffered no actual physical change, to suffer from body image issues. This may derive from beliefs that people who haven’t had cancer won’t be able to understand, or connect with them anymore.

Some of the physical changes, such as weight loss and hair loss, are temporary, whilst procedures such as amputations, mastectomies or colostomy leave permanent scars. 

Both types of change can affect the way a person feels about their body, or the attitudes they feel other people may have about them. Dealing with the perceptions, judgements and responses of other people may be challenging.

How Can WeightMatters Help You?

 

We are experienced at working with clients who have had an illness or disease that affects their health, body and the way they view, or feel about their body. Cancer, diabetes, reconstruction surgery and autoimmune conditions can have devastating effects on body shape and size.

Psychologically this body trauma can have a huge impact on personality and happiness in life. Our role at WeightMatters is to listen carefully to your story, how your body trauma has affected you, and understand how you feel about your body.

Then, together, we can make a roadmap to help you find peace and acceptance with the changes in your appearance, and support you in getting your life back on track.

Treatment for Body Image & Cancer

We invite you to explore our services for Body Image & Cancer

Counselling &
Psychotherapy

WeightMatters therapist

Let us guide you on
the path to recovery

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Breakthrough
Day

Therapist

Get to the root cause
of your weight issues

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Psychiatry

WeightMatters psychiatrist

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and physical wellbeing

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