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Poor Body Image


Re: Poor Body Image

Hi Julesy


Thank you for posting.


Breast cancer treatments can leave people dealing with many physical and emotional changes and it sounds like you are having a difficult time. Altered body image after surgery is a concern for many women after a breast cancer diagnosis. It’s good to hear you did seek a second appointment with your consultant even though it didn’t go as per plan. You can ask your GP for a second opinion with another plastic surgeon to discuss your options.


It’s interesting your husband is suggesting that you possibly may be unhappy with any new surgery. Further surgery after radiotherapy is possible but we know that radiotherapy reduces the elasticity and quality of the skin and therefore further surgery may not always be successful.


Sometimes, people do feel they cannot cope with the situation they find themselves in.  Although it may feel very difficult, do try and ask someone for help.  If you can, speak to someone you trust about how you are feeling such as a friend, family member or colleague. And ask your GP for an urgent appointment. Your GP may prescribe some treatment that can help. They may also help you access other therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy which is often used to help people who are struggling.


Here at Breast Cancer Now, we offer a variety of services to support you now, or in the future. Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can be helpful and our Someone Like Me service can arrange for one of our volunteers to talk to you by email or telephone. Our volunteers have had a personal experience of breast cancer and are trained to provide support.


You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0345 077 1893, or email them someone.likeme@breastcancernow.org so they can then match you to your volunteer. 


There are also many organisations that can offer help and support. This includes Mind and their number is 0300 123 3393.


Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. Your call will be confidential and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.


The number is 0808 800 6000 (Text relay prefix 18001).


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.


Best wishes



Breast Cancer Now Nurse


Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer  Full details on how we collect and use your data can be found in our Privacy Policy


Re: Poor Body Image

Hi  Julesy


Thanks for posting your question.


We hope to be able to respond to you tomorrow.


In the meantime our Helpline is open until 4pm today if you would like to talk things through. 


If you do phone our Helpline please let us know that you have asked a question on our forum so that we know your query has been answered. Thank you


With best wishes.




Ask Our Nurses Co-ordinator


Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer  Full details on how we collect and use your data can be found in our Privacy Policy



Poor Body Image

Good Morning,

I was diagnosed with ER+ breast cancer in July 2018. I had a lumpectomy in the August and completed radiotherapy in the November. I knew that I was going to struggle with body image and the operation, I can't even peg washing on the line with odd pegs! I did have counselling, but I found it a complete waste of time. I saw my consultant last July regarding symmetry surgery.  She said that she would reduce the size of the other breast but she would lift the nipple.  I wasn't completely happy with this as I really hated the way my previously operated breast looked and was really hoping that I could get some improvement. 


My husband was anti me having the new surgery as he thought that I would still be unhappy.  After speaking to my consultants secretary she made me another appointment with my consultant to discuss the option of corrective surgery to the bad breast at the same time as the symmetry surgery.  This appointment really didn't go to plan.  She said that because of the radiotherapy she would not be able to perform another operation and she agreed with hubby that I wouldn't be happy. She thought that I needed to have further counselling. A few days later, I received the copy of the letter to the GP saying that she had discharged me.


I have been so upset since, I feel as though all of the hope that I once had was just taken away in a heartbeat.  Is it correct that I can't have further surgery to my bad breast because of radiotherapy?

I feel so totally desperate!