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Comorbid and Transactional Suffering: Breast Cancer Survivors in South Africa.

08:00 EDT 24th March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Comorbid and Transactional Suffering: Breast Cancer Survivors in South Africa."

Cycles of chronic illness are unpredictable, especially when multiple conditions are involved, and that instability can transform "normal" everyday life for individuals and their families. This article employs a theory of "comorbid suffering" to interpret how multiple concurrent diagnoses produce webs of remarkable suffering. We collected 50 life stories from breast cancer survivors enrolled in the South Africa Breast Cancer Study. We present three women's narratives who grapple with comorbid suffering and illness-related work, which arise interpersonally when comorbid illnesses affects social interactions. We found that women strive to create a balance between living with comorbid suffering and continuously performing routine activities amid treatment. Discrimination and isolation were underpinned by women's fear of being rejected by their families or how their illnesses created social distance between family members and the wider community. This study therefore illustrates how comorbid suffering requires intensive family commitments amid and beyond illness.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Qualitative health research
ISSN: 1049-7323
Pages: 1049732320911365

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A republic in southern Africa, the southernmost part of Africa. It has three capitals: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial). Officially the Republic of South Africa since 1960, it was called the Union of South Africa 1910-1960.

Abnormal accumulation of lymph in the arm, shoulder and breast area associated with surgical or radiation breast cancer treatments (e.g., MASTECTOMY).

Metastatic breast cancer characterized by EDEMA and ERYTHEMA of the affected breast due to LYMPHATIC METASTASIS and eventual obstruction of LYMPHATIC VESSELS by the cancer cells.

A infiltrating (invasive) breast cancer, relatively uncommon, accounting for only 5%-10% of breast tumors in most series. It is often an area of ill-defined thickening in the breast, in contrast to the dominant lump characteristic of ductal carcinoma. It is typically composed of small cells in a linear arrangement with a tendency to grow around ducts and lobules. There is likelihood of axillary nodal involvement with metastasis to meningeal and serosal surfaces. (DeVita Jr et al., Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology, 3d ed, p1205)

The geographical area of Africa comprising ANGOLA; BOTSWANA; LESOTHO; MALAWI; MOZAMBIQUE; NAMIBIA; SOUTH AFRICA; SWAZILAND; ZAMBIA; and ZIMBABWE.

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