Young Women with Breast Cancer Experiences and Needs

Researchers: Principal Investigator: N.Hodgson & P.Rana
Co- Investigators: J. Sussman, G. Pond, L. Bordeleau, S. Mukherjee, M. Forbes, K. Madde


Nicole Hodgson

Status: Completed
This study aimed to gather and analyze the physical, psycho-social and informational needs of YWBC at a regional cancer centre. Participants attended either a focus group or interview that was moderated by following a semi-structured interview format. Transcripts were reviewed independently and then compiled by themes and recurring responses by two reviewers using constant comparative method. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with a total of 16 women, 40 years of age or less, diagnosed with breast cancer within the last year. Several themes arose from the data which included the need for: age appropriate information; timely referral to fertility services and supportive care services. Most participants reported experiencing a timely work-up and diagnosis. All participants expressed distress. The most common triggers were telling their children of their diagnosis, waiting for biopsy results and fear of recurrence.
Conclusion: Most YWBC reported they were provided with adequate medical information for decision-making. However, gaps were found in supports for psycho-social, fertility, and sexuality needs. Further research is needed to understand how changes could be implemented to help better meet the needs of YWBC.
Presentation: McMaster Department of Oncology Student Research Day. San Antonio Breast Cancer Meeting.
Published: Rana et al., Cogent Medicine (2017), 4: 1278836