Relationships between Social Support and Social Image Concerns in Turkish Women with Breast Cancer


Background: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancer types in women and is amongst the mostdevastating and stressful events in the life of women. The external appearance of breast cancer patients usuallychanges due to the surgical and/or medical therapies used. An association may be found between social supportperception and social appearance anxiety in patients with breast cancer in the period after mastectomy. Therefore,this study investigated the social appearance anxiety and social support status in women with breast cancer inour country. Materials and
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in breast cancer patientsundergoing treatment or follow-up in Medical Oncology and General Surgery departments.
Results: Themean age of the participants was 51.13±8.48 years (range, 24-74 years) with nearly half of the patients (40.6%)aged 40-50 years. Of the patients, 39.1% had stage 3 breast cancer. The mean score on Cancer Patient’s SocialSupport Scale (CPSSS) was 134.85±9.35, and there was a significant difference in CPSSS total scores betweenthe age groups, educational levels, self-reported income levels and stage of disease (p<0.05). The mean SocialImage Anxiety Scale (SIAS) score was found to be 34.30±9.35 (min:16, max:66) in women participating in thisstudy. The CPSSS and SIAS scores of the participants were inversely correlated, and the SIAS score was foundto decrease with the increasing CPSSS score but with no statistically significant difference (r=-0.110, p=0.217).
Conclusions: Social appearance anxiety is higher in the patients with poor social support