Aspects of body image after mastectomy due to breast cancer: a two-year follow up study
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing, ISSN 1462-3889, E-ISSN 1532-2122, Vol. 17, no 3, 340-345 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose: This 2-year follow-up study explores aspects of body image after mastectomy due to breast cancer.
Materials and Methods: This population-based study included 76 women living in northern Sweden who, during November 2006 to October 2007, underwent mastectomy due to breast cancer. The women completed a questionnaire entitled “Life After Mastectomy (LAM)” 10 months after the mastectomy and again 2 years later. We used SPSS version 18.0 for data processing and analysis.
Results:The findings indicate that few significant changes in body image had taken place during the 2-year interval between the first and second completion of the questionnaire. An exception was a significant decrease in feelings of sexual attractiveness and comfort during sexual intimacy. At follow-up, 21% of the women had undergone breast reconstruction (BR). They were significantly younger than the women who had not had BR (53 v. 63 years). Besides being younger, no other significant differences could be found between those women who had undergone BR and those who had not. The fact that the decrease in sexual attractiveness and feelings of comfort during sexual intimacy also applied to the subgroup of women who had had BR may therefore be surprising. A better understanding of issues related to breast cancer treatment and sexual function is vital.
Conclusion: It is important for health care professionals to be aware of problems related to sexual intimacy and to be prepared not just to provide information about these, but also to reflect on expectations v. reality together with the women.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 17, no 3, 340-345 p.
body image, breast cancer, breast reconstruction, femininity, mastectomy
Nursing Cancer and Oncology
Research subject omvårdnadsforskning med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-58312DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2012.09.002ISI: 000318466500012PubMedID: 23083641OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-58312DiVA: diva2:548094