Responding to Scars after Breast Surgery

J. Slatman, J.M. Halsema, A. Meershoek

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article represents a phenomenological study on how women endow meaning to their scarred bodies after breast cancer treatment. Data collection consisted of multiple interviews with 10 women who had mastectomy, and 9 women who had breast-saving surgery. Against the background of the phenomenological premise that one's body can appear to oneself in various ways, we identified meaningful differences between experiences that go together with one's body "at a distance" and experiences that go together with one's body's "closeness." The diversity in body experiences we have revealed in our study calls for reconsidering the prejudiced critique of the "body as object" in mainstream phenomenology of health care, and invites medical professionals to develop the ability to recognize different perspectives on embodiment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Health Research
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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