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Symptom, symptom experiences, and symptom distress encountered by women with breast cancer undergoing current treatment modalities.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cancer Nursing
0162-220X
Publisher
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
Volume
28
Issue
5
Pages
382–389
Identifiers
PMID: 16192830
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Adjuvant chemotherapy protocols used to treat women with breast cancer have evolved over the last decade and have dramatically altered the symptoms and symptom experiences of these women. The purpose of this study was to identify symptoms, symptom experiences, and resulting symptom distress encountered by women with breast cancer undergoing surgery and receiving current chemotherapy protocols. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 20 women for this study. Women were asked to tell their story and transcripts were analyzed using Colaizzi's procedural steps. Six themes emerged. The most important theme was that symptom experiences and symptom distress, similar among all 20 women, were congruent with the type of treatment. After surgery, women complained of numbness, pulling, and body image changes; while receiving Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide, symptoms of intense nausea and hair loss caused distress; while receiving Paclitaxel, symptoms of intense bone pain and peripheral neuropathy caused distress. This study provides oncology nurses with a clear description of the symptoms, symptom experiences, and symptom distress women with breast cancer encounter during present-day treatment protocols. Knowing the symptoms and symptom experiences, as well as when they occur during treatment, provides oncology nurses with an opportunity to share with women about to start treatment for breast cancer the expected "normative" symptom experience. This in turn would allow women to anticipate symptoms, employ management strategies, and empower them to improve their cancer experience.

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