Latina Breast Cancer Survivors' Lived Experiences: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond

Lydia P. Buki, D. Marcela Garcés, M. Carolina Hinestrosa, Lori Kogan, Iris Y. Carrillo, Bryana French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Latina breast cancer survivors are not benefiting from advances in psychosocial interventions. Despite their greater breast cancer burden, there is a dearth of information about this population. This qualitative study examined the experiences of 18 immigrant Latina breast cancer survivors along the survivorship continuum, from diagnosis to long-term survivorship. The authors conducted separate focus groups with women in the acute, reentry, and long-term survivorship stages. Through grounded theory analysis, the authors uncovered 5 themes of experience: perceptions of psychological well-being, impact of diagnosis, impact of treatment, need for social support, and development of new attitudes. Some themes were applicable across all survivorship stages, whereas others were more salient at a particular stage. Within themes, the authors identified experiences reported in the general literature (i.e., the debilitating effect of chemotherapy) and distinct cultural experiences (i.e., fear that a cancer diagnosis leads to certain death). Results suggest that treatments tailored for each survivorship stage are more likely to be effective than generic interventions. These findings have the potential to lessen health disparities in utilization of psychosocial treatments by Latina breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • breast cancer
  • cancer survivorship
  • Latina women
  • psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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