PUBLISHED ON: 14 October 2013

We know that treatments such as surgery chemotherapy radiotherapy and hormone drugs can leave a woman with problematic menopausal symptoms loss of femininity feelings of anxiety and depression as well as not feeling sexy or sexually attractive.

But because we talk all the time to women living with through and beyond breast cancer we also know that it’s possible to find confidence in your body again. In September we launched a campaign featuring three women whose stories show this very clearly: Ismena Jill and Heather.

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Most women will have surgery as part of their breast cancer treatment and surgical scars or losing a breast can affect how a woman feels about herself. After surgery some women describe feeling unfeminine or unattractive lop-sided or incomplete.

Having a breast reconstruction can help to improve confidence and self esteem but it isn’t the right solution for everyone.

Some choose to wear a prosthesis for a while before they have a later reconstruction. Other women may choose not (or be unable) to have breast reconstruction and find wearing a prosthesis effective long-term.

If you’re concerned about any of these issues talk to us - by phone online or by email. We’re here to listen to your questions and worries and provide information and support.

Hair loss

Losing the hair on your head as well as eyebrows eyelashes underarm and other body hair can be a side effect of some chemotherapy drugs. Hair loss is almost always temporary and your hair usually grows back once chemotherapy has finished.

When it does the quality texture and colour can be different from before. Although in most cases it will eventually return to its old colour and condition the transition from hair to hair loss and regrowth can be shocking and distressing.

In a private consultation with our free HeadStrong service you can learn more about how to look after your hair and scalp before during and after treatment.

Weight gain

Many women don’t expect weight gain during and after breast cancer treatment but it is common because of drugs that increase appetite being less active than usual or wanting to eat more when anxious.

While losing weight can take time there are some simple changes that people can make to the way they eat and exercise. In the long term such changes can help you to lose weight and keep it off.

Free resources

For more information you can download or order a free copy of our booklet Your body intimacy and sex. There's also lots more to read on our Breast Cancer Information web pages.