Breast cancer, Life is forever changed; An exploration of the impact that a diagnosis of breast cancer can have upon an individual, their family and implications for nursingpractice.
Life has changed and will never be the same again! A diagnosis of breast cancer immediatelyinstils fear in all who are affected. This is a potentially life limiting diagnosis. Althoughtreatments are available, there are no guarantees in place. This means that after enduringdisfiguring surgery, invasive therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy and theirassociated side effects they still may not survive. The concept of survivorship is a complexmultifaceted one which encompasses the patient, their family and social support structures. Ithas no boundaries and has biological, psychological, socio-cultural, environmental andpolitico-economic implications for all parties (Roper et al 2000). A review of the currentliterature has identified several key areas and these have been expanded upon in text. Theseinclude relationships, quality of life, coping strategies, genetics, transitions in care andinformation. The key theme that has developed is the concept of survivorship and how it isinterpreted by those who have cancer as opposed to general society. There are indications thatthe whole area of cancer care needs to be re-evaluated and adapted to the needs of theindividual. Not to the needs that society expects these individuals should have. Severalimplications for nursing practice have also been outlined.Where this journey begins is easily pinpointed however, this journey is unending