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My treatment


Your appearance might be affected by breast cancer and its treatments, like scars from surgery, or hair loss from chemotherapy.1 These changes may affect your body image and self-esteem.1

Getting used to the changes will take some time, but research has shown that the sooner you accept the changes, the easier you will find it to gain confidence in your appearance.1 You might be shocked or unhappy the first few times you see yourself in the mirror, but these feelings will lessen over time as you get used to your appearance.1 Prosthesis or reconstruction is an option to restore your natural appearance after breast cancer surgery and may help you feel more confident.1 The choice for a prosthesis or reconstruction is yours, and it is okay if you do not want to receive either.​​​​​​​1

If you had surgery for breast cancer, you will have to consider the type of bra you wear during the first year after your surgery.2 Bras with soft seams, a wide underband, full cups, adjustable straps, and no wires will be more comfortable.2 The needs for your bra may change depending on your weight or other treatment-related changes.2 Immediately after surgery, you are likely to prefer a bra that is loose, due to the swelling you will experience.​​​​​​​2

Breast cancer treatment can also cause menopausal symptoms, and you might find these manageable or difficult to cope with.3 If you have already been through menopause, you may still re-experience menopausal symptoms.3 Treatments that can cause menopausal symptoms include hormone therapies, ovarian suppression, and chemotherapy.​​​​​​​3



  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Changes to sex drive
  • Mood changes
  • Joint pain
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Memory and concentration problems

If you are concerned with any of the symptoms you experience, you should talk to your GP or treatment team.3

Learning to live with breast cancer comes with stress and worries, but you are not alone in this journey and your healthcare team will always have your back.4 For some women with breast cancer, their cancer may never go away completely and might require continuous treatments to keep it under control.4 Your doctor will arrange regular follow-ups to monitor your condition while supporting you have to adapt and live with any side effects of your treatment.4 You can also discuss with your doctor regarding concerns with whether the cancer will return, and if it does, what are your options. Treatment will depend on where it comes back, and what treatments you have already had before.​​​​​​​4​​​​​​​


  1. Breast Cancer Now (March 2019). Your body after breast cancer treatment. Retrieved from​​​​​​​ Accessed 28 March, 2022.
  2. Breast Cancer Now (October 2017). Bras after surgery for breast cancer. Retrieved from Accessed 28 March, 2022.
  3. Breast Cancer Now (December 2020). Menopausal symptoms and breast cancer. Retrieved from Accessed 28 March, 2022.
  4. American Cancer Society (January 2022). Follow-up Care After Breast Cancer Treatment. Retrieved from​​​​​​​ Accessed 28 March, 2022.



This health information is provided for reference only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider.

All decisions regarding patient care must be made with healthcare provider.