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Women's experiences of an altered appearance during chemotherapy: an indication of cancer status

By D. Harcourt and Hannah Frith


This study explores breast cancer\ud patients’ experiences of chemotherapy\ud treatment, with a focus on the impact\ud of an altered appearance during this\ud time. We present two key themes from\ud the thematic analysis of interviews\ud with 19 women: anxiety that\ud chemotherapy will render them\ud identifiable as a ‘person-with-cancer’;\ud and problematic interactions with others. We discuss how changes in appearance can reveal disease status to others, demonstrate the personal impact of temporary changes to\ud appearance, relate these findings to literature on psychosocial aspects of disfigurement and consider the provision of psychosocial care for\ud women experiencing an altered appearance during chemotherapy

Topics: L300 Sociology
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1359105308090932
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