Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
GOMES, Romeu; SKABA, Márcia Marília Vargas Fróes and VIEIRA, Roberto José da Silva. Reinventing life: a proposal for a socio-anthropological approach to breast cancer. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.18, n.1, pp. 197-204. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2002000100020.
This paper analyzes social representations of breast cancer and discusses the possibility of including symbolic aspects in the approach to this disease. The methodology is based on both a critical review of the theme (highlighting socio-anthropological issues) and the authors' experience in the field of oncology. The paper thus focuses on: (a) historical aspects of clinical and surgical approaches to breast cancer; (b) theoretical discussion of socially-constructed representations of cancer; and (c) incorporation of the symbolic dimension when dealing with women with breast cancer. The authors conclude that health care policy for women with breast cancer should consider both improvements in technical services and the symbolic dimension involved in living with this disease.
Keywords : Breast Neoplasms; Women's Health; Anthropology.