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Print version ISSN 1679-4427On-line version ISSN 1984-980X


VALE, Carla Cristina Soares de Oliveira do; DIAS, Isabela Campos  and  MIRANDA, Kelly Milene. Breast cancer: the impact of mastectomy on women's psyche. Mental [online]. 2017, vol.11, n.21, pp. 527-545. ISSN 1679-4427.

Breast cancer, because of its high incidence and mortality, is one of the diseases that cause physical and psychological distress. If early detected, there are high chances of cure. However, most of the time, it is discovered in advanced stages, generating mutilating treatments women, such as radical or partial mastectomy. The effects of mutilation promotes not only physiological damages, but also psychological ones. Removing the breast due to a chronic disease causes the death of femininity, because the breast is the organ associated with pleasure and life, as well as a cultural and social symbolic power. Considering the symbolic representation of the breasts, this study aimed to make considerations about the impact of mastectomy on the diagnosis woman's psyche surgical afterlife and to verify the consequences of illness in order to contribute significantly to the physical wellbeing, social and psychological of women. For this, we applied a semi-structured individual interviews with two participants who went through this procedure. The results showed that psychological repercussions vary according to the stage of illness and subjectivity of each participant. Given this, it is necessary to monitor and provide assistance to mastectomy patients in order to minimize the impacts caused by the removal of the breast. Therefore, assistance should be focused on improving quality of life in all its breadth. That said, the woman, in this new period, need emotional, professional and family support, within the understanding that goes far beyond the disease itself.

Keywords : breast neoplasms; mastectomy; psychology.

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