Your appearance

Cancer can change both your physical appearance and how you feel about yourself. This can be really difficult.

If you’re worried or upset, it could help to share your feelings with someone you trust, such as a friend or family member. You could also chat about things with your social worker, a nurse or someone else in your cancer care team.

Hair loss

Treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy can make people's hair fall out, although this doesn't happen to everyone, and sometimes hair just gets thinner. Even if you do lose your hair, with chemotherapy it will usually grow back three to six months after your treatment ends. If you are having radiotherapy on your head, there may be a small area of hair which won’t grow back – but this can usually be covered up by the rest of your hair.

You might feel a bit nervous about going out in public at first, but going out and about and carrying on with day-to-day life as much as possible can actually help. Wearing a wig, hat or scarf could help you feel more confident, so if you are worried, give it a try!

Central line

If you’re having chemotherapy, the doctors may put in a central line to help carry the medicine into your blood. This extra tube will probably seem more obvious to you than anyone else, but if you are really self conscious then you could choose to wear clothes which help to conceal it.

Weight changes

Losing or putting on weight because of treatment can be upsetting, and it's completely natural to feel sad or angry about it. If you are worried about changes in your body shape, remember that you are still you. People still like who you are and will enjoy spending time with you.

You may want to talk to the dietitian at your hospital and ask for some ideas, or the physiotherapist for some exercises you can do - theyr'e experts on using exercise to keep healthy.

You could try out some new clothes that fit well - you could experiment with a new style! It can also help to talk to someone you trust about how you feel, so your worries don't build up. 

September 2015, next planned review 2017