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Resilient and redefined: understanding the experiences of breast cancer survivorship for Ghanaian women
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 19:19 authored by Naomi Thompson
This research explores the treatment and post-treatment experiences of breast cancer survivors in Ghana. While rates of breast cancer continue to rise steadily across the African continent, the disease often remains misunderstood, extremely underfunded and responsible for an inestimable number of needless fatalities. Many factors influence the experiences and the quality of life of breast cancer survivors, yet there is minimal research in Ghana and throughout West Africa on post-treatment and survivorship issues. This research offers a perspective into the experiences of Ghanaian breast cancer survivors, arguing that these Ghanaian women, often with a range of post-cancer treatment issues, are not passive, powerless victims. With the help of a survivor community, women with breast cancer are able to move from stigmatized and ostracized social roles to one that transforms and exalts their cancer experience. This research emphasises the importance of recognizing not only the structural forces that shape cancer experiences, but also the narratives of transformation, resilience and strength and the role these play in enabling survivors to exercise agency over their disease.