The impact of mastectomy on Iranian women sexuality and body image: a systematic review of qualitative studies

Publication Name

Supportive Care in Cancer


Purpose: Mastectomy in women is perceived as losing feminine identity and reducing sexual attraction. The aim of this review is to explore the perception and impacts of mastectomy on Iranian women with breast cancer on their sexuality and body image. Methods: The review used a systematic literature search that followed the guidelines of the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI). The data sources PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, SID, ProQuest, MEDLINE, and CINAHL (via the EBSCOhost) were systematically searched. Quality appraisal, data extraction, and findings from the included studies were pooled using meta-aggregation with the Qualitative Assessment and Review Instrument (JBI-QARI). Results: Eight studies involving 163 women aged from 31 to 65 years, who had mastectomy, were included. A total of 31 findings were extracted and were aggregated into 4 categories and then further grouped into two synthesized findings: (1) fear of losing spouse’s sexual monopoly and (2) overcoming the challenges of losing femininity. Conclusions: This review found even in Muslim countries such as Iran women’s breasts are perceived as sexually attractive, and changes in body shape can lead to subsequent challenges in marital relationships.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access



Link to publisher version (DOI)