Women treated for breast cancer invited to join body acceptance programme

Issue date: 02 May 2017


Women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer are being invited to join a unique group programme aimed at helping them feel more accepting of their appearance.

'Accepting your Body after Cancer' is a free group programme over seven weeks based on the latest research in psychology.

It has been developed by academics at the internationally-recognised Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Researchers hope the programme – the first of its kind in the UK - will improve women's well-being and quality of life.

The group of up to 10 women will meet at UWE Bristol's Frenchay campus. Each session will guide participants through activities designed to improve how they feel about their body. The group will be delivered by a trained clinical psychologist and a peer - a woman who has had breast cancer - in a friendly and welcoming environment.

The programme will cover a different topic each week, such as media pressures, intimacy, self-care and relaxation. In order to find out whether the programme is effective, participants will be asked to complete confidential questionnaires and take part in a telephone interview. They will receive a £25 gift voucher and travel expenses.

Helena Lewis-Smith, the academic leading the programme, said: “Body image concerns relating to treatment-related appearance changes including mastectomy, hair loss, scarring can have a long-lasting negative impact on daily life, causing depression and anxiety, even following recovery.

“We are looking for 20 women in Bristol who are suffering with body image concerns following treatment for breast cancer, who might benefit from attending the programme. There are currently no other psychological programmes of this nature for a group in the rest of the UK.”

To express an interest in joining the programme, contact Helena on Helena.Lewis-Smith@uwe.ac.uk or 0117 3281895.

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