Reclaiming your body after breast cancer: how to access support

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With breast cancer being the most common type of cancer in the UK, a diagnosis can be devastating.

Breast cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, all of which can affect your body and your confidence.

Common visible changes include:

  • Hair loss
  • Skin and nail changes
  • Scarring or loss of a breast(s)
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Lymphoedema

We have put together a list of support groups who can help you to reclaim your body after breast cancer.

Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors

These advisors are specially trained by Macmillan and Boots to give you face-to-face advice about caring for your skin, nails and hair during cancer treatment. They can show you how to use products to manage skin changes and enhance any facial features, such as sparse eyebrows and lashes or brittle nails.

To get support, click on the link to find your nearest Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor and visit the No7 counter. Look for staff wearing Macmillan pin badges. You don’t need an appointment and you can speak in a private consultation room if preferred.

Find out more on the Macmillan website

The Nipple Innovation Project

The UK’s first breast cancer mastectomy tattoo charity is dedicated to empowering breast cancer survivors with free 3D nipple tattoos. Visit the website for a list of specialist UK artists.

At present, breast cancer survivors are offered a free semi-permanent tattoo with their mastectomy treatment, however these can fade and cause both physical and mental health issues for the survivor. Having a second semi-permanent tattoo can cause further damage to delicate scar tissue.

Nipple tattoos provided through NiP are permanent and created by highly skilled artists who can work to recreate your original nipples as closely as possible or match an existing nipple. Tattoos can be done over scar tissue and reconstructions and if you have an implant, this will not be damaged as the tattoo will not go deep enough to come into contact with it.

Visit the Nipple Innovation Project website

Knitted Knockers UK

A UK charity that knit and crochet breast prostheses for women that have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy. These are provided free of charge.

When undergoing surgery, you may be offered a silicone breast prothesis by the NHS. This can sometimes be uncomfortable, heavy and rub against the scars left from surgery. Knitted Knockers UK provide a lightweight, 100% cotton alternative that takes the form of a real breast, is soft against the skin and breathable. Knitted Knockers are available in all sizes.

They also offer Aqua Knockers which are designed especially for use in water-based activities.

Find out more on the Knitted Knockers UK website

Cancer Hair Care

A UK charity offering a free hair loss advisory service led by trained cancer hair care NHS clinical specialists. They provide advice and support on all aspects of hair loss, hair loss prevention (scalp cooling) and hair care, before, during and after cancer treatments. Services are tailored to all genders that cover all age ranges and all ethnicities.

For more information visit the website for support including:

  • Phone consultations with advisors/specialists
  • Hospital clinics
  • Caring Hair Studio in Hertfordshire
  • Guide booklets

Visit the Cancer Hair care site for more information

Hair Reborn

A charity offering support, advice and a free hair styling service for people suffering hair loss as a result of chemotherapy for cancer treatment. They have a 4-step programme tailored to suit individuals:

  • Re-assure – discussion with the charity for to provide reassurance, advice and support where they will explain what may happen to your hair and scalp during treatment and options available. Your details will be passed to a salon who will get in touch to arrange your first hair styling visit.
  • Re-start – first salon visit at least 8 weeks after chemotherapy has ended.
  • Re-style – appointment 8-12 weeks after the first visit.
  • Re-born – final appointment 8-12 weeks after the last visit, leaving you with a new manageable hairstyle, plus tips and advice on hair care.

Find out more on the Hair Reborn website

Look good, feel better

A UK charity that run wellbeing workshops and classes virtually and at hospitals and cancer care centres. These are led by beauty and health experts to help people feel good, look better and more like themselves again.

Whilst not specific to those with breast cancer, they offer a variety of workshops and classes for people living with cancer, including:

  • Skincare and makeup
  • Hair loss, scalp care and new growth
  • Hand and nail care
  • Headwear, wigs, brows and lashes
  • Men’s skincare and grooming
  • Styling for confidence
  • Gentle exercise
  • Breathwork and meditation

Find out more on the look good, feel better website

How can we help?

Dealing with cancer can be a big challenge for you and your loved ones which is only made worse if you have had to deal with the additional complications brought by something having gone wrong during your diagnosis or treatment.  If you want to have a free confidential discussion with one of our expert cancer claim solicitors contact us on 0800 044 8488 or fill in our contact form here and we will call you back Contact Us – Enable Law .

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