What is it about?

This study discusses how women experience different reactions when undergoing breast cancer treatment and after treatment ends. For example there is still stigma around cancer which led to women being avoided by some friends or family members but at the other extreme there is an expectation for positivity thanks to the highly publicised pink-ribbon campaign particularly associated with breast cancer survivorship. Women described having to manage other people's reactions by playing down their suffering and maintaining a positive image which was sometimes at odds with their true feelings. Afterwards there was an expectation to return to 'normal' and often the support they enjoyed during their treatment was no longer available.

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Why is it important?

It is important to highlight different experiences of women undergoing and recovering from breast cancer treatment as increasing numbers of women are being diagnosed, but also surviving, breast cancer.


I hope that this article will make people think before making assumptions about how women are feeling when they have had a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Also, that they will continue to offer support and friendship without having expectations of how their friend/colleague/family member should be reacting.

Dr Diane Trusson
University of Nottingham

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Between stigma and pink positivity: women's perceptions of social interactions during and after breast cancer treatment, Sociology of Health & Illness, August 2016, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12486.
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