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Contextos Clínicos

versão impressa ISSN 1983-3482


VITAL, Luísa; PELOSO, Franciele; DORNEL, Ana Luisa  e  CASTRO, Elisa Kern de. Mother with breast cancer: how do they perceive the illness?. Contextos Clínic [online]. 2019, vol.12, n.3, pp. 796-821. ISSN 1983-3482.

Living with breast cancer is a difficult situation and it may be potentialized when woman have children. Cancer affects the mother-child relationship and it may have a negative impact on their lives. In this sense, the illness experience and motherhood altogether of children who depend on them could impact how the woman perceives her illness. The aim of the study is to understand illness perception of women with breast cancer who have children until ten years old. This exploratory qualitative study has been done with six women interviewed in their homes about their cancer experience and motherhood. The interviews were submitted to content analysis and categories were created based on illness perception dimensions according to Common Sense Model. Results indicated the illness perception is intimately tied to motherhood, especially regarding emotional representation of leaving the child orphan. Participants mentioned that their illness had impact in their motherhood routine, mainly attributed to the physical fragility and their unavailability in certain activities with their children. The illness attribution to genetic causes worries women their daughter's future and illness prevention. Nevertheless, women see their children as a source of strength to cope with the disease. Illness and motherhood are inseparable in these women's lives

Palavras-chave : Breast Cancer; Motherhood; Illness Perception.

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