“I've got a very dichotomous difference in the way that I perceive myself”: Positive and negative constructions of body image following cancer treatment

Sarah Grogan, Jayne Mechan, Sofia Persson, Sive Finlay, Matthew Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This study investigated how women constructed body image following cancer. Four women, aged 32-67 years who had experienced breast or bowel cancer took part in a two-hour, in-depth focus group. Discourse analysis revealed that women orientated to positive aspects of the post-treatment body (silhouette, trust, acceptance) whilst acknowledging that their experiences were also traumatic (hair loss, scarring, sickness, swelling). Bodies and illness were concealed from public judgment, and women developed new trust in their bodies due to overcoming cancer; post-cancer bodies were accepted despite opportunities for normalisation. Implications for those wanting to support women during and after cancer are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
VolumeN/A
Early online date20 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • bowel cancer
  • body image
  • discourse analysis
  • body acceptance
  • focus groups

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