Hair & Image Advice
Hair loss is one of the most common side effects of cancer treatments. Moreover, cancer and cancer treatment may change the way your body looks, feels and performs; which affects your self-image.
The most common physical changes associated with cancer and its treatment; that may impact your self-image include:
- Changes in weight
- Thinning or loss of hair
- Changes in skin tone / color and nails
- Physical changes from surgery (i.e. scarring, loss of limb or part of the body)
- Changes in bodily / reproductive functions (i.e. incontinence, infertility)
- Swelling in the limbs (i.e. Lymphedema)
These changes may affect, your view, of yourself in different ways; like you may either feel self-conscious or embarrassed about your body and appearance. A good self-image may help reduce depression and anxiety and improve your emotional well-being.
Here are some tips that may help towards improving your self-image:
- While your body may look and feel different, remember you are still the same person on the inside. Look within yourself and celebrate the person you are.
- Understand that many changes in your appearance may be temporary and will go away after your treatment is completed.
- Experiment with ways to enhance your appearance. Use makeup, wigs, headscarves, etc. If you lose or gain weight, have your clothes altered accordingly.
- If you are unable to participate in some of your former activities or sports, try to find new activities that interest you.
- Prepare ahead for reactions from others. Think about how you will respond ahead of time so you are prepared to handle these situations.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keep up with routine health and hygiene activities, practice good nutrition, and stay active.
New research suggests the use of a cool caps where appropriate to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. Please speak to your consultant whether cool caps are suitable and beneficial for your treatment process.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.