The altered body after breast cancer surgery

Article English OPEN
Lindwall, Lillemor ; Bergbom, Ingegerd (2010)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being (issn: 1748-2631)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/qhw.v4i4.5023

When a woman is ill with breast cancer and her body is under threat, she may feel as if she is losing her identity and life. The body has a central role in the female identity in Western societies. The aim of the study was to describe how Swedish women experience their altered bodies after breast cancer surgery. A refl ective lifeworld approach within the perspective of caring science was used. Ten women (aged 43–62 years) were interviewed and told their stories of the body retrospectively following breast cancer surgery. The fi ndings show that the essence can be understood as my body as a stranger. It was found that the body was felt to be altered when the women found out that they had breast cancer and realized that something dangerous inside their bodies threatened their existence. However, there were also experiences of an altered body following the surgery. The meaning of 'my body as a stranger' is illuminated in the following four constituents: my body has failed me; my body—a prison; a home where a struggle is taking place and to make friends with the altered body. This study provides knowledge to bring up the issue of the women's experiences of their altered bodies after breast cancer surgery. Key words: Body , woman , breast cancer , caring science , phenomenology
  • References (43)
    43 references, page 1 of 5

    Arman, M., Rehnfeldt, A., Lindholm, L., & Hamrin, E. (2002). The face of suffering among women with breast cancer - being in a field of forces. Cancer Nurse, 25, 96-103.

    Arman, M., & Backman, M. (2007). A longitudinal study on women's experiences of life with breast cancer in anthroposophical complementary and conventional care. European Journal of Cancer care, 16, 444-450.

    Baider, L., Andritsch, E., Ever-Hadani, P., Goldzweig, G., Hoffman, G., & Samonigg, H. (2003). Do different cultural settings affect the psychological distress of women with breast cancer? A randomized study. European Journal of Cancer Care, 12, 263-273.

    Bredin, M. (1999). Breast cancer, body image and therapeutic massage: a qualitative study of women's experience. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 5, 1113-1120.

    Bergkvist, L., de Boniface, J., Jönsson, P. E., Ingvar, C., Liljegren, G., & Frisell, J. (2008). Axillary recurrence rate after negative sentinel node biopsy in breast cancer: threeyear follow-up of the Swedish multicenter cohort study. Annual Surgery, 247, 150-156.

    Clements, A., Henderson, B. J.,Tyndel, S., Evans, G., Brain, K., & Austoker, J.,Watson, E. (2008). For the Pimms study management group. European Journal of Cancer Care, 17, 245-252.

    Cohane, G. H., & Pope, H. G. (2001). Body image: A review of the literature. International Journal Eating Disorders, 29(4), 373-379.

    Corbin, J. M. (2003). The body in health and illness. Qualitative Health Research, 13, 256-268.

    Dahlberg, K., Dahlberg, H., & Nyström, M. (2008). Reflective Lifeworld Research. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

    Demir, F., Donmez, Y. C., Ozaker, E., & Diramali, A. (2008). Patients' lived experiences of excisional breast biopsy: a phenomenological study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17, 744-751.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark