Everyone has a picture in their mind of the way they look. Be it good, bad, or somewhere in between, we can’t help but feel something in connection with our body image.

However, it is also true that body image goes beyond our perceived level of attractiveness. It is about how comfortable we feel in our bodies and how in control we feel over their functions. This plays a cautious role in how we see ourselves. But when that changes because of something like cancer, it can alter your view of yourself.

Quite often, the treatment for head and neck cancer involves major surgery, which results in some degree of facial disfigurement. Head and neck cancer treatment presents a challenge to each person because the treatment can change both how one "looks" and also how their body "works".

A very common question that keeps surfing up is: What helps a person heal their relationship with their body image after cancer?


The first and foremost step is to give yourself time. Time to explore the changes undergone, to be honest with yourself about the feelings that come up around them and to remember, it’s not wrong to have these feelings. Also that holding them inside will do no good.

Sometimes it may be more difficult for someone to drink, eat, or swallow. In addition, one may also find it more difficult to express themselves emotionally through facial expressions. These changes don’t need to be severe, but they still may affect how one views himself and/or how they interact with others. But with time and a positive vibe at the best cancer care centre in Adelaide, it will also come around.


To divert your mind is also an important aspect of controlling your mind. It is easy to focus on the things one can no longer do and get stuck in feelings of deficit. For instance, if you used to be a runner and now you can’t, it can be helpful to acknowledge the loss but meanwhile also focus on what else you can do, if not running.

It is easier to preach than to do but practice never lets anyone down. But what else will help you find balance and begin to adjust? For some people, it can be helpful to engage in mindfulness activities at a cancer care centre in Adelaide or journaling, this helps in breaking the cycle of negative thought patterns.


Learning how to communicate with others after surgery is another important aspect of taking control of your body image. Meeting with people experiencing similar challenges may be helpful.

Even attending support groups with family members and friends, during and after hospitalization, can be of assistance. Under these times having emotional and social support is the most important key.


Avoidance interferes with how you adjust to all the challenges of your treatment. You must get accustomed to looking at yourself in the mirror and taking care of yourself.

Learning to care for yourself at cancer care centres in Adelaide is an accomplishment in itself. It will help you feel more confident about how you can cope with the future.