In this study, we examine and analyze the experiences of women and their perceptions on handling and managing their breast cancer. Seven women from Peshawar, Pakistan who had breast cancer and have been cured, were interviewed. Qualitative content analysis of their life stories was performed using a computerized software Atlas.ti. In the coding process, 128 codes were initially developed. These codes were then grouped into 12 categories, which were then further refined into 8 theoretically grounded categories: awareness and education about breast cancer, cultural barriers, early detection, quality of care and treatment, support, side effects, courage and learned to face challenges. The early views of participant’s feelings about breast cancer are mostly similar to the general population in Pakistan. Before starting treatment, all participant were unaware of the treatment process and had fear in their mind. They were hesitant in starting their treatment and were worried. However, when they were cured, their attitudes toward breast cancer and even to their whole lives were changed. Comprehensive awareness programs in a culturally acceptable language and facilities for routine breast examinations should be easily accessible to all women in Pakistan in order to promote early detection. In order to eradicate cultural barriers, female staff who are trained to perform routine breast examinations, should be available in all facilities and treatment centers.
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