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You’re still you

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Couple in kitchen med

It’s that time of year again; romance is in the air, loved ones are spending time together and showering each other with romantic gestures.

However, Valentine’s Day can be difficult for some people; especially following a cancer diagnosis. Finding out you have cancer is life changing and the added stress of the appearance-related side effects of treatment can be very hard to cope with. They can have a huge impact on self-esteem and confidence at a time when a positive attitude is very important.

Around the time of Valentine’s Day, you may feel that there is pressure on to look your best. If you’re receiving treatment, this can seem like an impossible task, especially if you are experiencing fatigue, as there are various side effects that can affect your appearance, and how you feel about your body.

Potential appearance related side effects:

Side effects that affect your appearance can lower your self-confidence. Regardless of whether you are male or female, young or old, they can affect the way you feel about yourself and others and you may feel vulnerable and exposed.

However it is important to remember not all side effects are permanent. In some cases hair grows back thicker, fuller and in better condition than prior to treatment and the effects to skin and nails can disappear. However, if you are still experiencing these side effects there is no reason why you should feel less confident and attractive.

There are various ways in which you can disguise these side effects, manage them and help yourself to feel more confident. There are various shops that specialise in products such as wigs, make up and lotions for those who are currently receiving treatment or are affected by side effects. These products are suitable for people whose skin may be more sensitive following or during treatment.


There are many charities out there that aim to provide practical support for women suffering from the visible effects of cancer, one of which is the charity Look Good Feel Better . They aim to improve the wellbeing and confidence of people undergoing treatment and improve their self-image and appearance through free skincare and makeup workshops.

These classes can allow the women who have been affected by cancer to learn new techniques with makeup to restore confidence that may have been lost as the result of chemotherapy. Women may even look better and healthier after using this service as it is developing your own makeup skills and making you feel more in control.

My New Hair is a charity which helps people who have experienced hair loss. They work with medical advisors, the wig industry, specialists in aftercare and experienced hair professionals to give the best possible advice and service to make wearing a wig more comfortable.

This Valentine’s Day, even though you may be feeling low, remember you’re still you. It’s okay if you don’t feel like being romantic, but remember there are lots of ways to help you cope better with these side effects and to allow you to still feel good about yourself despite going through chemotherapy.

For further information about side effects of chemotherapy call our CARE Line on 08088 010 444 or download our information booklet on the Common Side Effects of Treatment here

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