eISSN: 1644-4116
ISSN: 1429-8538
Psychoonkologia
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1/2018
vol. 22
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Body image and self-esteem in women with breast cancer – the role of body acceptance

Anna Brandt-Salmeri
,
Hanna Przybyła-Basista

Psychoonkologia 2018, 22 (1): 1-10
Online publish date: 2019/02/04
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Introduction
Breast cancer treatments have an influence on alterations of women’s appearance and perceived femininity. Many studies have shown that body image problems are related to low self-esteem and feeling less attractive.

The aim of the study
To compare self-esteem and body image in younger and older women and in women with breast reconstruction and without reconstruction, evaluate factors associated with self-esteem in women with breast cancer, who had mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery, and to analyse the role of body acceptance as a mediator of the relationship between the body image and self-esteem.

Material and methods
The research group consisted of a total of 105 women with breast cancer, 99 after radical mastectomy surgery (including 19 after breast reconstruction surgery), 6 after a sparing surgery. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), the Body Image Scale of Hopwood et al. (BIS), and the Scale of Self-Attractiveness in a Relationship of Chybicka and Karasiewicz were used in the investigation.

Results
The differences in self-esteem and body image were found to be dependent on women’s age. Breast reconstruction differentiated women in terms of self-esteem, but it was not related to the body image. The image of the altered body was a strongly negative predictor of self-esteem. Body acceptance fully mediated the relationship between body image and self-esteem. 

Conclusions
The distress associated with changed body image negatively affects the self-esteem of women with breast cancer. However, self-acceptance of the body can be understood as a protective factor that eliminates the negative effects of the above dependence, which can be an important indication for clinicians.

keywords:

breast cancer, self-esteem, mastectomy, body image

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