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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 90-96

Body image disturbances among breast cancer survivors: A narrative review of prevalence and correlates

1 Amity Institute of Psychology and Allied and Sciences, AIPS, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Endocrine Surgery, KGMU, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, KGMU, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Monika Thakur
AIPS, Amity University Noida, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/crst.crst_170_21

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Body image is an essential aspect of femininity. Body image disturbances occurring due to breast cancer pose a difficult challenge, which can impact the quality of life of breast cancer survivors. Various treatment modalities used to cure cancer may result in major alterations of body image. The purpose of this review is to describe the magnitude of body image disturbances and the associated factors which influence the quality of life. A thorough literature search was performed to identify articles related to body image disturbances in patients with breast cancer. Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched using key terms such as “body image disturbances,” “sexuality,” “women,” and “breast cancer.” Original research articles, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses published in English from 2000 to 2020 that reported on body image as the main variable using standardized tools and had a sample size of at least 100 were considered eligible for inclusion in the review. A total of 40 articles matched the inclusion criteria, out of 100 that were identified from the database search. Our review suggests that in patients with breast cancer, the type of treatment, primarily modified radical mastectomy, and age have a significant association with disturbed body image, resulting in physical or psychological distress, eventually leading to difficulty in partnered relationships and sexual intimacy. Body image disturbance is an indispensable part of female health, and due care must be taken along with treatment to avoid psychological and physical distress.

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