Black women’s body image is influenced by several factors but when women have breast cancer, a “new normal” extends from diagnosis to long after reconstruction. This pilot study examines Black women’s breast cancer experience beginning with social networks, diagnosis, health care, the medical community, and breast reconstruction, ending with PTSD and Post Traumatic Growth (PTG). A convenience sample was surveyed and a qualitative research methodology was utilized to analyze responses from Black female breast cancer survivors. Research questions included body image perceptions after surgery and post-reconstruction. The participants go through adversity, find strength, and grow, ready to face the next adventure. Chemotherapy and post mastectomy issues can change one’s body image and attitude. Results indicated participants viewed their body image and attitude more positively as early as two years post breast reconstruction, which supports the Post Traumatic Growth Theory (PTG). This research could give breast cancer survivors a better understanding of how breast cancer and reconstruction affect body image and attitude. One possibility is a newfound strength, despite or due to a breast cancer diagnosis and all that comes with it.
Richard, H., & Mead, A. S. (2023). Black Women’s Body Image, Breast Cancer, and Post Traumatic Growth. The Journal of the Research Association of Minority Professors, 25(1). Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/jramp/vol25/iss1/1