Living with cancer: An experience of profound changes brought on by chemotherapy

Paula Jaman-Mewes, María Soledad Rivera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To show the experiences of Chilean women with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy. Materials and methods: This is a phenomenological qualitative study developed pursuant to the philosophical thinking of Martin Heidegger. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 women between 45 and 64 years of age who have been diagnosed with different types of cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. The analysis was based on the Streubert-Carpenter method and triangulated by a practiced researcher. Results: The experience of living with cancer and chemotherapy means living with a treatment that causes profound changes in women's lives, this being an essential, comprehensive category of the study that contains four units of meaning: 1) changes in all the dimensions of being a woman; that is, at the corporal, emotional and spiritual level, 2) changes in being oneself before and during chemotherapy, 3) changes to being" in the world, and 4) changes in the family. Conclusions: An in-depth understanding of the experiences of the women in this study confirms the reports in literature and constitutes a comprehensive body of knowledge that can serve as a guide to humane and tailored cancer nursing care based on each person's needs.

Translated title of the contributionVivir con cáncer: Una experiencia de cambios profundos provocados por la quimioterapia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug therapy
  • Medical oncology
  • Neoplasms
  • Nursing
  • Women's health


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