Listening to the voices: An exploratory study of the experiences of women diagnosed and living with breast cancer in Uganda

  • MA Gonzaga


Introduction: Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths amongst Ugandan women. Most women live through challenging and emotional experiences having been diagnosed with breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of women diagnosed and living with breast cancer.

Methods: This was an exploratory qualitative study using a convenience sample (n = 12) of women confirmed with breast cancer and reporting to the Radiology department for imaging. In-depth individual interviews were conducted and findings were summarized into themes, representative of the participants' lived  experiences.

Results: All women in this study initially went through emotional trauma of living with breast cancer. However, with time, they seemed to accept and cope with their situation. Four major themes summarizing their  experiences included: Thought of Death, Strength to live, Loss of female identity and sexuality and Coping mechanisms.

Conclusion: This study provided a unique insight of the experiences of women living with breast cancer. By listening to their narratives, one could
see emotional pain, anger, anxiety, strength to live and many more. Although women with breast cancer get clinical management, there is need to design holistic palliative healthcare services including counseling to assist then cope with life.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688