IJSRP, Volume 3, Issue 6, June 2013 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
Shobhita R, Dr. Anuradha Sathiyaseelan
When women diagnosed with breast cancer undergo mastectomy and adjuvant medical treatment, they are confronted with multiple side-effects causing appearance related issues that have a profound impact on their identity, implicitly in terms of their sense of self and explicitly in terms of their social self. Therefore the aim of the study was to explore how the altered appearance of female breast cancer survivors impacted their perception of self-identity, after undergoing mastectomy and adjuvant treatment. The objectives of the study were - a) to explore the concept of physical appearance among female breast cancer survivors and b) to explore the issues faced by female breast cancer survivors in relation to their physical appearance. The sample included 7 female breast cancer survivors selected from a purposive non-probability sampling technique. They were interviewed based on a semi-structured interview guide. The data transcribed was analyzed using directed content analysis. The findings involved two global themes-1) Concept of physical appearance-survivors perspective and 2) Problem adoption and adaptation-indicating the identity stability. Through these results the present study concluded that altered appearance of female breast cancer survivors impacts their perception of self-identity, in the explicit perspective more than the implicit perspective, after undergoing mastectomy and related treatment.