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Commonalities were found in meanings, situations, and life experiences of women who survived breast cancer

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To describe the experience of adult women who survive diagnosis and treatment of localised breast cancer without recurrence for at least 3 years.


Multicase, comparative situational analysis using Schutz's interpretation of phenomenology as the theoretical framework.


Rural, suburban, and urban areas of northeast Connecticut, USA.


45 white women who survived breast cancer for at least 3 years with no evidence of recurrence or metastases. Age at diagnosis ranged from 29–75 years, and years of survival since diagnosis ranged from 3–31. 20 women were diagnosed before the age of 50 and 6 before the age of 40. More than half the women with mastectomies had bilateral breast cancers.


An in depth interview and a follow up interview were done with each participant in her home. A dialectic was formed in which emic (one …

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  • Sources of funding: Hartford Hospital Research Foundation; Connecticut Nurses Foundation; Sigma Theta Tau, Mu chapter, USA.

  • For article reprint: Professor J Thibodeau, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269, USA. Fax +1 860 486 0001.