Coping with cancer diagnosis and treatment: a comparative study on women with breast cancer in Turkey and occupied Palestinian territory
Terzioğlu, Ayşecan and Hammoudeh, Weeam (2017) Coping with cancer diagnosis and treatment: a comparative study on women with breast cancer in Turkey and occupied Palestinian territory. Reproductive Health Matters, 25 (Supplement: 1). S35-S46. ISSN 0968-8080 (Print) 1460-9576 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09688080.2017.1378066
In this article, we explore the illness narratives of women with breast cancer in Turkey and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), underlining the similarities and differences in the ways in which they make sense of their diagnosis and cope with cancer treatment. The article is based on 30 and 35 semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted in Turkey and the oPt, respectively. We do find some parallels in the two settings. We find that a diagnosis of breast cancer is a dramatic event with very strong reactions among many women, with women in both settings pointing to sharp increases in cancer incidence. Interestingly, the perceived increase in the prevalence of breast cancer among women appears to make cancer more manageable. There are clear variations in the degree of medicalisation and prevalence of medical discourse in the two settings, with medical discourse around cancer more common in the Turkish context. Furthermore, socio-economic variations were more discernible in the Turkish setting, and perceived to impact care. The findings affirm that women's breast cancer experiences and the ways in which they make sense of their diagnosis are largely shaped by the cultural contexts they live in, within and across country and cultural settings.
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