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Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 0103-7331


ALMEIDA, Tatiana Rodrigues de; GUERRA, Maximiliano Ribeiro  and  FILGUEIRAS, Maria Stella Tavares. Breast cancer repercussion in female body image: a systematic review. Physis [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.3, pp.1003-1029. ISSN 0103-7331.

Besides presenting implications inherent to any illness, female breast cancer is also one of the most feared cancers, affecting not only the anatomic body, but mainly some psychosocial aspects of the patient and, among these, the body image is highlighted. This paper aimed to carry out a systematic review of papers that approached the body image in breast cancer, with the description of the content of the production. To do so, a review was carried out of papers published between 2000 and 2010 on indexed scientific journals, through searches conducted on bibliographic databases SciELO, PubMed, PePSIC and PsycINFO. We have concluded that breast cancer ends up causing the body image of the assisted woman to fall ill, and that the impact of such cancer varies according to the type of surgical procedure chosen, the complementary treatments adopted, the support network that surrounds the patient, and their individual characteristics. The alteration in the body image has multiple implications in the sexual and conjugal life of the woman, affecting the relations with her social circle and with herself, influencing her self-esteem and her sense of femininity, possibly leading to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Although advancements have been verified in the study of the relation between body image and breast cancer, this research points to the existence of a fertile field of investigation about the theme, still little explored.

Keywords : breast cancer; body image; systematic review.

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