Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Body Image After Cancer Treatment
COVID-19 Info: Vaccines (5 & up) | Boosters | Testing | Visitor Guidelines | Stats | More
IMPORTANT NOTICE: COVID-19 testing appointments are not available at Cone Health emergency departments or urgent care locations. Click here for testing options.
How you feel about your body (your body image) may change when you have cancer. It is common to feel angry, frustrated, or disappointed after cancer surgery or during treatment for cancer. And it may be hard to adjust.
Changes that may affect a person's body image include:
Physical changes can include damage to or loss of nerves, blood vessels, or organs from the growth of the cancer or from the treatments to remove the cancer. Also, general pain, fatigue, and discomfort can result from cancer or cancer treatment.
Other concerns from cancer or cancer treatments may come up as you move on with your life. They may include stress, depression, confusion, or anxiety. Sometimes these problems are harder to deal with than the physical changes from having cancer.
Treatment for cancer may cause sexual problems. For example, nerve damage from surgery may affect a man's ability to have an erection.
Also, the stress of being diagnosed with cancer may affect other areas of your life, including your personal and sexual relationships. Some people may experience less sexual pleasure or lose their desire to be sexually intimate. Or a man or woman without a partner may feel unsure about dating because of having a history of cancer.
If sexual problems are bothering you, don't wait to get help. Talk to your doctor. And if your concerns involve a partner, talking openly with your partner may help.
Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society or call 1-800-227-2345 to find a support group in your area. Talking with other people who have had similar feelings can be very helpful.
For more information about body changes and intimacy, read "Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment" from the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You can find this booklet online at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/life-after-treatment.
Current as of:
December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineDouglas A. Stewart MD - Medical Oncology
Current as of: December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Douglas A. Stewart MD - Medical Oncology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.