Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast Cancer Confessions: Emotional Work Of Disclosing A Diagnosis

Date:
August 6, 2008
Source:
American Sociological Association
Summary:
Women diagnosed with breast cancer shoulder the emotional burden of disclosing their diagnosis to loved ones, managing the feelings of others at precisely the time when they need support themselves, according to new research.

Women diagnosed with breast cancer shoulder the emotional burden of disclosing their diagnosis to loved ones, managing the feelings of others at precisely the time when they need support themselves, according to research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

The research is the first study to comparatively and qualitatively examine how breast cancer survivors from different racial and ethnic backgrounds share the news of their illness with family, friends and acquaintances. The researchers interviewed 164 breast cancer survivors to examine the "emotion work" involved in disclosing a breast cancer diagnosis. These survivors included a mix of racially diverse women born in the United States and immigrants, and they were recruited throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

"Women diagnosed with breast cancer face an uphill emotional battle," said Grace J. Yoo, a sociologist at San Francisco State University and the study's primary investigator. "At a time when they are forced to deal with their own vulnerabilities, women with breast cancer must also navigate the vulnerabilities of loved ones as they react to the news."

For women—typically perceived as caregivers and expected to put the emotions of others above their own—a breast cancer diagnosis presents a paradox, according to Yoo. Women must face the challenge of determining how to ask for help from others when they are typically seen as the caregiver.

According to interviews with breast cancer survivors, different strategies were employed in conversations with close family members compared to those outside the family. Survivors viewed informing their family of the diagnosis as their most difficult task following a diagnosis. Most respondents felt the need to strategically manage the way family members were told in order to protect their loved ones and to provide comfort and reassurance.

Contrary to the approach they used with their families, women often related their diagnosis to peers spontaneously. Most respondents were surprised by the extent of the support they received as a result of these unplanned conversations and by the depth and breadth of their own social networks.

"Women who limit their emotions in discussing their breast cancer diagnosis often limit the possibilities for support they can receive," said Yoo. "Involving and including others in an illness increases intimacy among friends and family and opens the door to additional support."

Yoo co-authored the study with researchers Caryn Aviv from the University of Denver; Ellen G. Levine of San Francisco State University; and Cheryl Ewing and Alfred Au, both of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The paper, "Emotion Work: Disclosure and Social Support among Breast Cancer Survivors," will be presented on Monday, Aug. 4, at 10:30 a.m. in the Boston Marriott Copley Place at the American Sociological Association's 103rd annual meeting.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Sociological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Sociological Association. "Breast Cancer Confessions: Emotional Work Of Disclosing A Diagnosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100146.htm>.
American Sociological Association. (2008, August 6). Breast Cancer Confessions: Emotional Work Of Disclosing A Diagnosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100146.htm
American Sociological Association. "Breast Cancer Confessions: Emotional Work Of Disclosing A Diagnosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100146.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins