Breast cancer as a life process: Psychosocial experiences of Latina and White (non-Latina) long-term breast cancer survivors.

  • Martinez G
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Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women living in the United States across most ethnic groups. Although the psychosocial impact of breast cancer has been studied, there is little information on women from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. This study aims at understanding the psychosocial experiences of long-term breast cancer survivors using qualitative methodology. In depth interviews were conducted with 25 Latina long-term (five years since diagnosis) and 28 White non-Latina breast cancer survivors. Breast cancer survivors, perceptions about breast cancer related challenges and changes to their body, their identity and social relations were explored. Latinas and White non-Latina women were compared and contrasted. Women's perceptions and issues of concern were related to: fear of recurrence, embodying breast cancer, and changes in social relationships, femininity and sexuality, and social identities. Latinas compared to White (non-Latinas) reported more issues of concern related to access to quality health care and the need for social support, communication barriers with their health care providers, negative impact on their femininity and sexuality, and the importance of spirituality. This study contributes to our understanding of ethnic differences and similarities in the long-term impact of breast cancer survivors' psychosocial health and quality of life. Last, this research is important for the provision of culturally sensitive health care, and support services to benefit breast cancer survivors and their families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • 3000:Social Psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Empirical Study
  • Female
  • Human
  • Human Females
  • Latinos
  • Latinos/Latinas
  • Psychosocial Factors
  • Qualitative Study
  • Racial and Ethnic Groups
  • Survivors
  • US
  • Whites
  • cancer survivors
  • ethnic groups
  • long term breast cancer
  • psychosocial experiences

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Authors

  • Gloria Parra Martinez

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