Who Am I? Reflections on Self-Image Among Patients With Cancer in Clinical Trials

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Patients with cancer who participate in research face difficult challenges. Their lives change in many ways, and they often question their self-image. Self-image includes how patients see themselves and who they want to become. The current commentary addresses the issue of self-image in patients with cancer who participate in clinical trials and how their sense of who they were changes as they shift from patients with cancer to research participants. Patients with cancer who participate in research may suffer from multiple identity transitions, ranging from physical alterations in appearance and bodily capabilities to psychological burdens of job loss and the inability to contribute financially to their families. The author aims to provide insight as to how researchers can help patients find meaning in their lives during the process of participation in clinical trials as they undergo identity transitions.

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