Breast cancer diagnosis: biographical disruption, emotional experiences and strategic management in Thai women with breast cancer Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In this article we draw on Bury's theory of biographical disruption to discuss the meanings of, and emotional experiences related to, being diagnosed with breast cancer among southern Thai women. Qualitative methods, including in-depth interviewing and drawing methods, were used to collect data from 20 women with breast cancer. The women perceived breast cancer to be a rhok raai; an evil or dread disease. They believed that breast cancer would lead to death. The disruption in their biography occurred when they detected abnormalities indicating breast cancer. The women's narratives revealed their chaotic lives upon this diagnosis and the news precipitated in them shock, fear, anxiety and loss of hope. Although they experienced chaos and disruption, the women cultivated strategies that helped them cope with their experiences by accepting their fate and adhering to Buddhist beliefs and practices. Through their narratives of biographical disruption, the women in our study offer healthcare providers knowledge that could lead to an appreciation of their needs and concerns. This knowledge is crucial for health professionals who wish to provide emotional support to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in Thailand and elsewhere.

publication date

  • 2015