Body image of women with breast cancer after mastectomy among women visiting Tikur Anbessa specialized hospital, Ethiopia2020:a qualitative study.

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Addis Abeba University


Background: Breast cancers pose a great shattering feeling on the women‘s feminine identity. The loss of a part of the body that brings this feminine identity makes ladies experience a humbling feeling and ugliness within her imagination. Both their physical and emotionalhealth of patients are impacted by the patient‘s body image and concerns related to theirsituation , thus understanding their feeling about their body can help us to better understandand improve patient‘s health. However, no study done in Ethiopia addressed body image ofbreast cancer after mastectomy. Objective: To gain a holistic and deep understanding about lived experiences and howmastectomy affects body image of Ethiopian Women with breast cancer who undergonemastectomy in Tikur Anbesa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2020. Methods: A qualitative descriptive phenomenological study design was employed to understand the lived experience and perception of body image of women with mastectomy. The data was collected from 11 women who had mastectomy. An in-depth interview usingunstructured interview guide from April 28-30 , 2020. Member checking, peer debriefing and audit-trial were applied to assure data quality. Thematic analysis using editing analysis stylewas used by qualitative data analysis software package Atlas ti-7. Result: The result of the analysis led to the emerging of four main themes and sub themes,which are my body image, mastectomy, social life and relationship, and coping mechanism. Most women consider their breast as part of their body, their beauty, full health and life. In this study the women perceive themselves as a disabled person, looking like an old lady at young age and commonly a feeling of loss is reported. Majority of the women said that ithasn‘t brought any change in their relationship. There are different coping mechanisms awomen use to deal effectively with the difficult condition they are in. Conclusion: Women consider their breast as their beauty and its removal affects both psychological and mental well-beings. Mastectomy as a treatment of breast cancer is found to have a negative impact on the women‘s perception about their body image. The care thewomen with mastectomy receive from the health care professional is found to be very vital.



Body image, Breast cancer, Mastectomy, Tikur Anbesa Specialized Hospital