Survivor of childhood cancer, anyone else?


I am a survivor of a rare form of rhabdomyosarcoma that was formed in the tissue of the vagina. I was diagnosed between the ages of 2-7years old. After major surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy I beat it. I am happy to say still 20 years on I am a healthy and happy young adult.

However given the nature of the cancer I survived I struggle to talk about it, and has held me back from venturing into relationships as I am worried how someone may look at me or react when I tell them my circumstances.

I was wondering if anyone else who is a survivor of childhood cancer could give advice on having the 'C' talk with partners, or navigating the world of relationships?

Also open to providing and reaching out to other childhood cancer survivors to give support.



  • Hello EnnaD20

    I'm sorry to hear about all that you went through as a child. It's great to know that you're still doing so well and living a happy healthy life. 

    It's understandable that you may have some concerns about how you might approach the subject of all that you've been through with a potential new partner. I know that there are members here on the forum, who although they have had a different diagnosis, will have had similar concerns following cancer treatments. Hopefully, some of them will post to share their experiences and advice with you. 

    We do occasionally get people posting here on the forum who are childhood cancer survivors but not often so I wanted to suggest that you might like to get in touch with an organisation called Shine. They're a charity that provides support to people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s whose lives have been impacted by cancer. I know that they have a number of different support groups, including one about cancer and dating, and it may be that you're able to connect with others there who have similar stories. 

    If you think that it might help you to talk to a professional about all that you've been through and how it continues to impact your daily life then I'd recommend getting in touch with your local Maggie's centre.

    Dating, and relationships, can be a minefield at any point in life but to date after a cancer diagnosis can leave you feeling more vulnerable and scared. Please know that you're not alone in your quest to find that special someone. You may have to kiss some frogs along the way but you may also find The One. 

    Wishing you all the best, 
    Cancer Chat moderator 

  • Hello Enna I was born with a rare childhood cancer malignant neuroblastoma like yourself went through radiotherapy, chemo, plastic surgery,operations, tracheostomy, was even given the last rights, was born in the 60's in and out of hospital never found out I had cancer till I was 21, from birth until early fifties cancer free so live your life your doing well .  Enna your young a baby to me ,the world has moved on so much people are accepted for all kinds of problems , just make time have a tea and tell who you want to know and stand tall and proud , you've achieved a lot .

  • Hi, I had a rare cancer on my thigh at 5 years old and got it again at 7 in my groin. I am now 48 years old but the treatment I received has caused lots of issues with my health and I am not able to carry children ( I have tried and lost 3 children late in pregnancy) i also had to have all of my muscle removed from my thigh when I had the tumour removed so I am left with a very disfigured thigh. I manage day to day by only wearing knee length dresses and skits, no trousers at all as my thigh is half the size of my other.i have been married and had other relationships, I find being honest and upfront is key as if they don't love all of you as your are, then they don't deserve you. Be proud of what you have survived x