The experience of chemotherapy-induced alopecia for Australian women with ovarian cancer
Jayde, V and Boughton, M and Blomfield, P, The experience of chemotherapy-induced alopecia for Australian women with ovarian cancer, European Journal of Cancer Care, 22, (4) pp. 503-512. ISSN 0961-5423 (2013) [Refereed Article]
This article describes the experience of chemotherapy-induced alopecia. Data resulted from an ongoing study, which sought to explore the experience of Australian women with a primary diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Phenomenological analysis of written accounts or interviews with 15 Australian women resulted in 13 of these 15 women giving priority to describing their experience of alopecia. The women described alopecia as the most distressing corporeal feature of the ovarian cancer experience. Factors which contributed to women's distress included: loss of sense of self and altered body image; reminder of their illness and potential for an early death; public statement about their private life, practical issues and re-growth. No literature was located, worldwide, which specifically explores the experience of alopecia for women with ovarian cancer. This article presents the first in-depth exploration of the experience of alopecia for Australian women with ovarian cancer. Insight gained from this study will inform understanding of the issues associated with alopecia for women with ovarian cancer and may facilitate the provision of optimal supportive care provided by health care professionals for female cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced alopecia.