Social And Psychological Issues Experienced By Women Suffering From Breast Cancer

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Airaj Riaz , Rubeena Zakar , Hira Ahmad Farrah


Breast cancer is becoming a worldwide concern with a significant increase in the number of cases every year. Women suffering from breast cancer face several issues in their personal and social life. It also harms their emotional and psychological well-being. This study was conducted with the goal in mind to figure out psychological and social problems faced by women suffering from breast cancer. Additionally, it also sheds light on how these women deal with issues brought about by cancer in their lives. To get an in-depth knowledge of all this, one on one deep and personal interviews were held with patients in their native language. Eleven patients were chosen at random from each of the two government hospitals, Jinnah Hospital Lahore and Mayo Hospital Lahore, making a total of twenty-two participants. Research showed that most of these patients complained about financial and transportation issues. A lot of these patients talked about how they had to sell their belongings and take loans to pay for the continuation of treatment. Physical symptoms like fatigue and chronic pain were a huge hurdle in performing their daily routine tasks.  Most of these patients talked about feeling alone, depressed, angry, and envious. Almost all of them suffered from depression and anxiety. All of them feared relapse and death. Many patients reported suffering from side effects of chemotherapy like insomnia, weight loss, loss of hair and appetite. Young patients were mostly worried about infertility and change in physical appearance. The majority of respondents said that they get social and emotional support from their blood relations. Male family members helped by contributing financially and female members helped by giving a helping hand with household chores. Few of them said that their friends and neighbors were helping them in fighting cancer too. Contrarily, most of the participants were worried about treatment facilities and the ill-mannered behavior of medical staff and said that they don't receive any support or empathy from medical staff.  The majority of them coped with the issues by turning to religion and spirituality. Most of the patients talked about how praying and visiting shrines helped them deal with their anxieties. Accepting the fact that the disease is a form of test from God and believing that He can make it easy for them soothed a lot of patients in this study.

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