Chhavi Mittal Stands Up for Herself: Finding Confidence After Cancer
- Bollywood actress Chhavi Mittal hit back at trolls who were calling her out for posting pictures of her body, post-breast cancer surgery.
- The actress, 41, has been candid with fans about treatment & recovery throughout her cancer journey.
- Struggling to feel confident and comfortable in your skin again is something a lot of women deal with after treatment like breast cancer surgery.
- While struggling with body image is common, there are many solutions (and many fellow survivors) to help women get through it and feel confident again.
“While fighting cancer, I mustered up all the courage that was within me, and decided that if anything, quality of life will be even better than it was pre-cancer [because] after this fight if I survive, I’ll only be stronger,” she wrote, alongside two photos of herself — one of which was praised and support by commenters, while the other received scorn.Read More
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Chhavi ended her note be promising that she will “continue to document my victories like I always have unabashedly,” because she’s “damn proud” of her body.
Dealing with body image issues after cancer
Chhavi’s sentiment as she fought back at those who questioned her photos ties back to something a lot of women deal with after going through breast cancer. Because cancer can change your body through surgery or other treatments, it can be hard to feel comfortable and get back to having a healthy body image afterwards.
Dr. Elizabeth Comen, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, told SurvivorNet in a previous conversation that body image issues are really common after breast cancer treatment.
Oncologist Dr. Elizabeth Comen discusses sex, body image, and feeling confident again after breast cancer.
“It takes time after breast cancer surgery for some women to feel sexy again, to feel good in their skin again,” Dr. Comen said. “They may no longer have sensation in their nipples, they may no longer have nipples, they may have decided not to reconstruct their breasts. So, how do they feel sexy? How do they feel sexual?”
Finding confidence again will look different for everyone. Some may look for clothing or lingerie that makes them feel and look great; others may focus on fitness or dietary changes, adjusting mindset, or even getting tattoos.
Many women who have gotten a mastectomy, a surgery to remove the breasts, are now turning to something called mastectomy tattoos. In a previous conversation, breast cancer survivor Dana Donofree told SurvivorNet that she decided to cover up her scars with beautiful works of art to re-claim her body.
Survivor Dana Donofree explains why she decided to get mastectomy tattoos.
“I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin exposing my new body in an intimate or sexual setting,” she explained. “I wanted to feel sexy. I wanted to feel beautiful, and the only solution I found was tattooing over my scars. I knew that if you could tattoo a nipple, you should be able to tattoo anything that my heart desired — and that was the path I ended up taking to re-claim and re-establish and re-own my own body and my own skin.”