Women's experiences of an altered appearance during chemotherapy: an indication of cancer status
Harcourt, D. and Frith, Hannah (2008) Women's experiences of an altered appearance during chemotherapy: an indication of cancer status Journal of Health Psychology, 13 (5). pp. 597-606. ISSN 1359-1053
Official URL: http://hpq.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/13/5/5...
This study explores breast cancer patients’ experiences of chemotherapy treatment, with a focus on the impact of an altered appearance during this time. We present two key themes from the thematic analysis of interviews with 19 women: anxiety that chemotherapy will render them identifiable as a ‘person-with-cancer’; 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 appearance, relate these findings to literature on psychosocial aspects of disfigurement and consider the provision of psychosocial care for women experiencing an altered appearance during chemotherapy.
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