Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women (American Cancer Society [ACS], 2016b). Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) as a group have a worse prognosis when compared to older adults (e.g., Tichy, Lim, & Anders, 2013). Due to limited understanding of the biology of cancers for AYAs, inadequate representation of AYAs in clinical trials, and AYAs’ unique psychosocial healthcare needs, the prognosis for this group, as compared to older women, is comparatively poor. One step in addressing the survival gap for AYAs is to explore the developmental and psychosocial factors that shape their illness experiences. This qualitative study explored the illness experiences of women diagnosed with breast cancer between the ages of 18 and 39 years old. Using a phenomenological approach, 23 breast cancer survivors were interviewed using a semi-structured interview. Findings indicated the centrality of developmental, sociocultural, and psychosocial systems in shaping women's health care experiences. Future studies should explore the ways in which medical providers attend to these systems across the breast cancer trajectory.
Breast Cancer, Psychosocial Healthcare, Qualitative Research
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Recommended APA Citation
Froude, C., Rigazio-DiGilio, S., Donorfio, L., & Bellizzi, K. (2017). Contextualizing the Young Adult Female Breast Cancer Experience: Developmental, Psychosocial, and Interpersonal Influences. The Qualitative Report, 22(6), 1488-1510. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol22/iss6/1