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Cancer Nurs. 1995 Feb;18(1):35-46.

Breast cancer survivors: concerns and coping.

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  • 1Fitchburg State College, MA.


With 5-year cancer survival rates increasing and breast cancer appearing in one of eight women in the United States, health-care providers need to become aware of issues common to this population. Knowledge of coping strategies can be used to improve the lives of survivors. This descriptive study used a semistructured interview to delineate concerns and coping as perceived by 14 women who had lived at least 5 years after a diagnosis of breast cancer. Informants gave evidence of a survivor personality as they described the use of multiple coping strategies, with information-seeking, work, spirituality, and family being predominant. The majority indicated that awareness of vulnerability had effected changes in how they viewed life. Their major concern was fear of recurrence. These women made adjustments to living with cancer and were able to describe positive aspects of their cancer experiences.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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