Phantom Breast and Other Syndromes After Mastectomy: Eight Breast Cancer Patients Describe Their Experiences Over Time
2008 (English)In: Journal of Pain, ISSN 1526-5900, Vol. 9, no 11, 1018-1025 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Patients often experience hard-to-treat neuropathic pain and other sensations after surgery; consequently, they could develop chronic pain conditions. The phantom limb phenomenon is a well-documented postoperative pain condition. However, phantom phenomena after mastectomies are less documented. The reviews report several views on the prevalence of breast phantoms and coexisting distress. Researchers observed that new methodological approaches might facilitate further research of these issues. This prospective, qualitative study used semistructured interviews to acquire knowledge of if and how phantom breast phenomena appear within the range of other postmastectomy symptoms and sensations. The study revealed that a phantom breast could be difficult to describe and position spatially. The phantom breast phenomenon varied from classic phantom extremity phenomenon and did not seem to cause much distress. However, it proved to be a phenomenon so unknown and different that there is urgent need for more knowledge. This study highlights the importance of further investigation regarding how information and communication related to a phantom breast might be developed.
Perspective: The phantom breast is only one piece of a complicated puzzle. Because it was relatively unknown for the women in the study, it is important that analyses of this phenomenon, as a part of a postmastectomy syndrome, be conducted in a dialogue with the patients, by scientifically using qualitative methods.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 9, no 11, 1018-1025 p.
Dialogue, narratives, phantom breast phenomenon, postmastectomy syndromes, qualitative methods, time perspective
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16104DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2008.06.003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-16104DiVA: diva2:133182