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Lindwall, Lillemor; Bergbom, Ingegerd (2010)
Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Languages: English
Types: Article
When a woman is ill with breast cancer and her body is under threat, she may feel as if she is losing her identity and life. The body has a central role in the female identity in Western societies. The aim of the study was to describe how Swedish women experience their altered bodies after breast cancer surgery. A refl ective lifeworld approach within the perspective of caring science was used. Ten women (aged 43–62 years) were interviewed and told their stories of the body retrospectively following breast cancer surgery. The fi ndings show that the essence can be understood as my body as a stranger. It was found that the body was felt to be altered when the women found out that they had breast cancer and realized that something dangerous inside their bodies threatened their existence. However, there were also experiences of an altered body following the surgery. The meaning of 'my body as a stranger' is illuminated in the following four constituents: my body has failed me; my body—a prison; a home where a struggle is taking place and to make friends with the altered body. This study provides knowledge to bring up the issue of the women's experiences of their altered bodies after breast cancer surgery. Key words: Body , woman , breast cancer , caring science , phenomenology
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