Holding it all Together: Breast cancer and its impact on life for younger women
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While breast cancer is often associated with older women, in the year 2000, 25 % of new breast cancer diagnoses in Australia affected young women. An interpretive study using in-depth interviews provided valuable insight into the lived experiences of six young Queensland women living with breast cancer. This paper presents data from the study with a particular focus on young women and the impact it has on their social situation and their family. The young women in this study found a diagnosis of breast cancer traumatic and their responses were heightened as they sought to understand why at such a young age. For the younger woman a diagnosis of breast cancer is likely to cause not only emotional distress but concerns relating to motherhood, family and fertility. In many respects younger women having greater responsibility for the well being of others in their family and in the provision of stability for everyday family life face a tough reality than older women with breast cancer. This study identified that a specialist breast care nurse is an important resource.
© 2006 e-Content Management Pty Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.