PUBLISHED ON: 7 October 2013

We talk to Louisa Howarth, the cover star of the Autumn 2013 issue of Vita. 

One of the most interesting parts of editing Vita is interviewing the people affected by breast cancer that we feature each issue. Sometimes I get to meet them in real life which is even better.

While putting together the Autumn issue of Vita I met Louisa Howarth our cover star and her family. Louisa works as a singer and she told me about how self-conscious she felt when taking to the stage again after her breast surgery. She thought everyone looking at her could tell that she’d had a breast reconstruction and was thinking ‘What’s she had done to her boobs?’ You can read Louisa’s story on Vita online.

Not alone

Louisa isn’t alone in feeling self-conscious about the way she looks after treatment for breast cancer – and it’s not just surgery that leaves women feeling this way. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy can have side effects that leave people with an altered body image. But many women feel that when compared with the life-threatening nature of their illness the issue of body image is trivial so they think they can’t discuss it.

We want to change this and to encourage women to talk to someone – whether that’s their breast care nurse or someone that’s been through a similar experience – about how they’re feeling. Because the emotional impact of breast cancer and its treatment is far from trivial.

Body image campaign

For our most recent issue of Vita we went behind the scenes of Breast Cancer Care’s new body image campaign. The campaign highlights the way breast cancer can affect how people feel about their bodies. Vita spoke to Jill one of the models in the campaign. She told us she wanted to take part to help women who are worried about having a mastectomy. You can hear more from Jill and find out more about the campaign in our article ‘Behind the camera’.

I hope you enjoy this issue – whether you read it online or order a printed copy of the magazine. If you’re a member of a support group we’re always happy to send you multiple copies for your groups – just get in touch.