Objective: Are there differences in self-concept and body image in patients with cancer recurrence in comparison to patients with complete remission? What impact has cancer recurrence on use, users and non-users of unconventional cancer therapies?
Patients and methods: One hundred and nine patients with no evidence of disease after gynaecological cancer and sixty-one patients with recurrent disease were analysed for self-concept with the Frankfurter Selbstkonzeptskalen and body image with the Frankfurter Körperkonzeptskalen. Use and motivation for unconventional therapies was assessed with a questionnaire.
Results: With respect to frequency of use and expected benefits of unconventional therapies no differences were observed between the groups. However, cancer recurrence was found to induce considerable changes of self-concept and body image, some indicating even positive changes due to cancer recurrence.
Conclusion: It may be beneficial to consider body therapy and psychotherapy as a mean to improve body image and self-esteem in cases with cancer recurrence.