Journal of Clinical & Experimental OncologyISSN: 2324-9110

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The impact of breast cancer treatment on the meaning of occupational patterns in the life world of women who return to paid and unpaid work: A phenomenological study

Susan M Neville and Ellen Greer

New York Institute of Technology, USA

: J Clin Exp Oncol


The diagnosis of Breast Cancer is devastating for many women on many different levels. The impact of the diagnosis, decisions made treatment regimen and the resulting cognitive changes with effect on self, occupational patterns and every aspect of the woman’s life world is crucial to understand personal coping from the perspective of the woman lived experience. This is the second phenomenological study in an agenda of collaborative, interdisciplinary research focusing on breast cancer, culture and the meaning of selected variables on a woman’s response to diagnosis, choice, coping, social support, re-entry to paid or unpaid work and futurity. The purpose of this study was to capture the true depth of feelings, thoughts and behaviors that are part of the breast cancer treatment experience and the impact of these feelings on the occupational patterns consisting of roles and routines who return to paid or unpaid work. Women who were diagnosed solely with breast cancer receiving a chemotherapy protocol alone or in conjunction with surgery, radiation and/or hormone treatment, and did not have a recurrence since their initial diagnosis were participants in this study. Semi-structured audio taped interviews were conducted. Data was transcribed in English and translated from Spanish to English for the non-English speaking participants. Findings from this study will contribute to the increasing body of evidenced based collaborative interdisciplinary practice related to understand the psychosocial impact of Breast Cancer and treatment modalities on the development of culturally based support and empowerment strategies for women in all phases of their lives.


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