Living with breast cancer: the experiences and meaning-making among women in Southern Thailand Academic Article uri icon


  • We conducted in-depth interviews with 20 women living with breast cancer and invited them to take part in a drawing method. In this paper, we discuss the lived experiences and meaning-making of breast cancer among women in southern Thailand. Our data revealed that the diagnosis of breast cancer generated numerous emotional responses. However, after the initial shock, most women started to accept their reality. The acceptance of their breast cancer played an essential role in the meaning-making discourse because it assisted the women to be able to sustain the equilibrium of their emotional well-being. Meaning-making and the Buddhist belief about bad karma was a prominent theme. The belief that adversities in life were the result of bad deeds that one had committed to others in the past not only helped the women to accept their fate but also to deal with their life situations better. Our findings suggest that these women act in their own agencies to counteract any negativity they might encounter from their breast cancer trajectory. It provides a theoretical understanding about the ways Thai women deal with their breast cancer which can be adopted as a means to provide culturally sensitive care for women with breast cancer in Thailand and elsewhere.

publication date

  • 2016