Living with & beyond cancer - Advice for women
After your cancer treatment, you may experience a range of side-effects that affect your quality of life. Women’s cancers such as breast cancer and gynaecological cancers, cervical, ovarian endometrial, vulval or vaginal cancers may have particular side-effects that you may find difficult to manage.
Learning about your cancer and treatment plan will help you to understand and manage your side effects. This guide will aim to provide helpful advice on:
- The most common symptoms that may apply to you
- How to manage your wellbeing and recovery
- How to maintain a healthy lifestyle to help your body recover
- Where to seek advice.
- Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes or night sweats
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
- Sleeping difficulties
- Bowel issues, such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting
- Urinary problems
- Numbness in hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy)
While many side-effects clear up in the weeks and months after treatment ends, some may be more long lasting. Whatever the case, it’s important to get support from your medical and nursing team and to learn about strategies which may help you to feel better. Find out more about different side-effects and ways to cope better.
- Mood changes
- Anxiety and fear of cancer returning
- Depression or sadness
- Lack of confidence
The emotional effects of your cancer diagnosis can impact you at any stage in your treatment and beyond. People affected by cancer are more likely to seek support once their treatment has finished, often years later. Many cancer side-effects such as sleeping difficulties, fatigue and problems eating and body image can also affect your mood. Telling your medical team or nurse specialists about these worries and fears will help you through this journey.
Sex and fertility
- Managing your sexual relationships
- Sexual difficulties, such as loss of sexual desire, vaginal dryness, pain.
- Fertility problems or infertility
- Questions about contraception
Changes in your sexual health as a result of your cancer diagnosis is a normal but often overlooked side-effect which can negatively affect your quality of life. It can impact your sex and intimacy life and cause fertility issues. Some treatments can have a physical impact on your body but it is also important to remember the emotional impact cancer can have. There is help out there and you don’t have to suffer in silence.
If your life is affected by any kind physical, emotional or sexual difficulty, please don’t suffer in silence.
Talk to your medical team
- They know your medical history and can prescribe medication or refer you to specialist services to help you.
Talk to our cancer nurses
- They can give you support, information and advice on Freephone 1800 200 700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mind your mental health
- Let your GP know if you’re finding it hard to cope
- Ask about psycho-oncology services at the hospital
Consider counselling – we fund free counselling at our affiliated cancer support centres
Connect with someone who knows what you’re going through
- Ask our nurses about our Survivor Support programme – we can connect you with a trained volunteer who has been through a cancer diagnosis
- Go to your local cancer support centre, where you can meet other people who’ve had a cancer diagnosis. They offer other activities and services to help you feel better, physically and emotionally, such as mindfulness, yoga, exercise groups, creative workshops, information sessions and counselling.
Our nurses are here for you if you have a question about side-effects, are finding it hard to adjust to your new normal, need information on services or just want to talk. Freephone 1800 200 700, email email@example.com or visit a Daffodil Centre.
For more information
1800 200 700