‘Cancer changes everything!’ Exploring the lived experiences of women with metastatic breast cancer.

‘Cancer changes everything!’ Exploring the lived experiences of women with metastatic breast cancer.

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2014 Jul 2;20(7):334-342

Authors: Krigel S, Myers J, Befort C, Krebill H, Klemp J

Abstract
Study purpose: The aim of this study was to further explore the lived experiences of women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), to inform the development of interventions to enhance survivorship care for women with advanced disease. Methodology: Four semi-structured focus groups were conducted with women with MBC. The data was analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Participants described the challenges of living with uncertainty, as a result of a lack of information regarding treatment options and symptom management, and a sense of the unknown related to prognosis and survival. Of major concern were changes in role functioning, altered relationships, and self-image. Conclusion: Women with metastatic breast cancer must cope with dramatic changes in all aspects of their lives. Clinicians should tailor survivorship care and evidence-based interventions to individuals’ concerns with changes in role functioning, fatigue, relationships, and self-image. A multidisciplinary approach should be used to address practical and existential concerns focused on improving quality of life.

PMID: 25062379 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]