Honors College Thesis


Young Adult Breast Cancer Survivors’ Experiences with Body Image Changes Public Deposited

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  • The purpose of this thesis is to identify the issues relating to body image in young adult breast cancer survivors, and to observe which physical issues are related to which psychological issues. Participants were recruited through Army of Women and through social media. The study partcipants were 29 English-speaking female breast cancer survivors diagnosed under the age of 40 with their current age between 18 and 44 years, diagnosed with stage 1-4 breast cancer at least 6 months prior to study enrollment. All participants completed one telephone interview. Informed consent procedures were taken with those participating, and recruitment of participants stopped when interviews began to become repetitive with the information they were providing. It was found that reconstruction, weight gain, and a lowered libido had the strongest connection to the young women feeling self-conscious after cancer treatment. Fertility issues, reconstruction, menopausal symptoms including vaginal dryness, and pain had the strongest connection to the young women feeling disconnected from their bodies after cancer treatment. Key Words: Breast Cancer, Body Image
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