This comprehensive guide for mental health practitioners and medical professionals addresses the delicate issues surrounding breast cancer and the processes involved in emotional coping and healing. The book covers concerns of family members as well as women worried about developing breast cancer.
Chapter 4: The Breast Cancer Experience
The Breast Cancer Experience
The breast cancer experience can be divided into several phases. In this chapter, the experiences of women with breast cancer are discussed as they encounter prediagnosis, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. The last part of the chapter discusses the experiences of women whose illness is terminal.
Common Responses during the Early Phases
A woman discovers a lump or her doctor tells her that her mammogram shows something unusual but not to worry about it, that “in six months we'll do another mammogram to see if anything has changed.” Such discoveries lead many women to seek consultations with other doctors or advice from friends and family. Feelings of fear and even panic are intermingled with confidence that nothing is wrong. Visits with ...