Research

Remapping the body: Learning to eat again after surgery for esophageal cancer


Reference:

Wainwright, D., Donovan, J. L., Kavadas, V., Cramer, H. and Blazeby, J. M., 2007. Remapping the body: Learning to eat again after surgery for esophageal cancer. Qualitative Health Research, 17 (6), pp. 759-771.

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Abstract

Surgery for esophageal cancer offers the hope of cure but might impair quality of life. The operation removes tumors obstructing the esophagus but frequently leaves patients with eating difficulties, leading to weight loss. Maintaining or increasing body weight is important to many patients, both as a means of returning to "normal" and as a means of rejecting the identity of the terminal cancer patient, but surgery radically alters embodied sensations of hunger, satiety, swallowing, taste, and smell, rendering the previously taken-for-granted experience of eating unfamiliar and alien. Successful recovery depends on patients' learning how to eat again. This entails familiarization with physiological changes but also coming to terms with the social consequences of spoiled identity. The authors report findings from in-depth interviews with 11 esophageal cancer patients, documenting their experiences as they struggle to achieve a process of adaptation that is at once physiological, psychological, and social.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsWainwright, D., Donovan, J. L., Kavadas, V., Cramer, H. and Blazeby, J. M.
DOI10.1177/1049732307302021
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Health
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code6252
Additional InformationID number: ISI:000247346000005

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