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The “Silenced” Voices of Women Cancer Survivors: Bodily Experiences From an Existential Perspective

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This study explores women's embodiment from an existential–phenomenological approach. Gynecological cancer was chosen as the condition of interest to understand socially formed gender via female bodies as a lived experience of socially and historically situated women. This empirical material is based on individual interviews with 10 Portuguese cancer survivors. A phenomenological–hermeneutical method, inspired by Ricoeur (1976), was used to extract the meaningful content from the women's experiences. These narratives include life changes and recovery transitions in and through the lived body. By seeing cancer survival in terms of the lived body, this study opens the possibility of articulating a deeper and clearer understanding of people's experience of cancer trauma with gender-sensitive health services.
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Keywords: CANCER; GENDER; HEALTH CARE; PHENOMENOLOGY; SURVIVOR; WOMEN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-08-01

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