The latest issue of Contact magazine focuses on appearance and body image, with articles from patients, parents and professionals.
Cancer treatment can cause a number of physical changes within a fairly short period of time. Depending on the age of the child, these changes can be deeply upsetting and shocking for both patients and families, and they are a constant reminder of cancer when looking in the mirror. Such changes can feel like another burden for families already coping with the bombshell of a cancer diagnosis.
How we look and feel about our appearance can become tied up with all kinds of emotions and moods which can then influence how we then act and behave. Anxiety about thoughts such as ‘What willmy friends think?’ or ‘Will everyone know that my child has cancer if they don’t have hair?’ can become overwhelming causing extra stress and even not wanting to go out in public.
As you will see from some of the articles in this issue, these feelings are very common and normal.
We are lucky to have many patients and parents who share their stories on dealing with changes in appearance and body image: Georgia, Ben and Edie.
Help and support is always available to all families faced with body changes not only from the healthcare team but also from other charities.
Parents may also find the change in appearances in their child upsetting and two mums – Kerry and Jane – give honest accounts on how it made them feel.
They have all found ways to help them cope with various body changes as patients and as parents and we hope that you find tips and advice that will work for you too.
Read or download the latest issue