The Lived experiences of Filipino women with breast cancer
Almocera, Dianne Pearl
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In 2015, breast cancer ranked third among the leading new cancer deaths and had the highest incidence among cancer cases in the Philippines (International Agency for Research in Cancer [IARC], 2017; Laudico et al., 2015). However, after a thorough review of literature, there is no study found that explored the lived experiences of Filipino women with breast cancer. Thus, the purpose of this paper aims to describe the lifeworld of Filipino women diagnosed with breast cancer. For my methodology, I used transcendental phenomenology. I chose my participants, seven of them, through snowball and purposive sampling techniques. I gathered data through in-depth interviews, observation, and analytical memos. I analyzed using Moustakas’ transcendental phenomenological analysis. The findings showed that the participants engaged in an unhealthy lifestyle before the onset of breast cancer, specifically (a) eating unhealthy food, (b) being overworked, and (c) having psychological stress responses such as anger and worry. The participants’ lifeworld could be described as (a) living a life of distress, (b) facing punishment, (c) passing through the shadow of death, (d) being haunted by the unknown, (e) pleading with the ultimate healer, (f) coping with the uncertainties, and (g) turning curse into a blessing. The participants yearned for a bright future, such as engaging in a productive job and preparing themselves for a life in Heaven. I would like to recommend that healthcare providers and family members provide loving support to women with breast cancer as they go through this challenging phase of their lives. Moreover, this paper found that most of the women with breast cancer long to be a part of finishing the gospel commission. Thus, church leaders should consider giving women with breast cancer responsibilities in their respective churches and providing them the opportunity to participate in evangelism endeavors.