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Revista da SBPH

versão impressa ISSN 1516-0858


LEITAO, Bruna Fabrícia Barboza; DUARTE, Ítala Villaça  e  BETTEGA, Paola Brandalise. Patients with cancer of oral cavity undergoing surgery: social representations about the treatment. Rev. SBPH [online]. 2013, vol.16, n.1, pp. 113-140. ISSN 1516-0858.

This article aims to understand the social representations of the surgical treatment for patients diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity. This is a qualitative study involving 15 patients treated by the Office of Head and Neck in an oncological hospital located in the south of Brazil. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews conducted in both periods: pre and post-surgery. The results were analyzed based on the theory proposed by Bardin (1994), and structured in 4 categories: social representation of the illness, the treatment, the institution, and the health professionals and caregivers. The results suggest that cancer patients still associate the diagnosis with: fear of pain, suffering, mutilation and death. However its perception of the surgical treatment, an extremely invasive procedure, may be perceived as the best solution for recovering quality of life when compared with other therapies in oncology. Regarding the network of care and caregivers, it appears the existence of ambivalent feelings and different forms of relationship between patients, families and staff, which must be observed and often intermediated. This research is not an end in itself, but opens for new questions and studies.

Palavras-chave : Psycho-oncology; Oral cancer; Surgery; Social security and social representation..

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