Boosting Your Body Image

Cancer treatment causes changes in your body, and while some effects are short-term, others are permanent.

Acknowledging these changes — the loss of your breasts or your hair, new scars and weight changes — are part of the recovery process.

These changes can serve as reminder of the disease, trigging painful memories. You have the right to feel upset and to mourn the loss of your pre-cancer body.

It’s important to recognize that you are more than your cancer — no matter what you look like or how you have changed, you are a person of worth and value.

Doing something kind for yourself, like a hair cut or color, manicure or new clothes, can not only help enhance your look, it can also aid in your recovery.

Resources to boost your self-image

  • We sponsor the acclaimed American Cancer Society’s “Look Good … Feel Better” program, where cancer patients of all ages can learn techniques to minimize the appearance-related side effects of cancer and treatment, get makeup and hair loss tips, and receive free cosmetics.

    For information or to R.S.V.P. for upcoming events, call the center at 626-256-4673, ext. 63842.


  • City of Hope’s Positive Image Centersm offers private, one-on-one session with a trained image consultant, who will teach you the latest tips and tricks to help you get back to feeling like yourself again. To make an appointment for a private consultation, call 626-301-8874.

    Our specially trained cosmetologists are here to help with:
    • The best use of cosmetic and skin-care techniques
    • Alternatives for complete and partial hair loss, including fittings and stylings for men and women wigs
    • Optimal use of head-wraps and hats, and scarf-tying techniques
    • Post-mastectomy fittings and products, available by appointment
  • If you have lasting side effects impacting your body, such as skin or weight changes, talk with your survivorship healthcare team. If you are a City of Hope patient, you can also reach out to a social worker by calling the Division of Clinical Social Work at 626-256-4673, ext. 62282.
  • You can find more helpful information in the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, located on the Duarte campus in the Main Medical building, including support groups, education classes, music therapy, art therapy and more.
  • Visit the Supportive Services Events Calendar for class descriptions, dates and to reserve your spots.