The Lived Experience of Ethiopian Women After Mastectomy due to Breast Cancer: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Research Articles


School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health Science, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.


Background: The impact of breast absence on women’s lived experiences is not well studied in Sub-Saharan Africa particularly in Ethiopia, with implications for service design. This study aimed to explore the lived experiences of Ethiopian women after mastectomy due to breast cancer. Methods: A qualitative study approach was used to explore the experiences of women who underwent a mastectomy at the oncology unit of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital. Before the commencement of the study, consent was obtained from each respondent. An in-depth interview was conducted with twelve post-mastectomy women using a semi-structured interview guide. Audio-recorded data were transcribed verbatim and translated into English. Data were coded, sorted, and themes were developed manually based on the thematic analysis. Results: Five themes illustrating the impact on the women’s life after mastectomy were identified and categorized into (1) Perceived alteration in physical and psychosocial aspects, (2) Perceived social support, and adapting to life after mastectomy. Conclusion: Our finding suggests that women who underwent mastectomy need holistic care including physical, psychosocial, and emotional support from their family, society, and healthcare professionals.


Main Subjects

Volume 25, Issue 1
January 2024
Pages 103-108
  • Receive Date: 09 June 2023
  • Revise Date: 20 October 2023
  • Accept Date: 18 January 2024
  • First Publish Date: 18 January 2024