Single Female Breast Cancer Patients’ Perspectives on Intimate Relationships

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Abstract

This qualitative study examined how female breast cancer patients without partners conceptualized their relationship status. Qualitative data were collected from 20 participants who did not have partners during diagnosis and treatment. Phenomenology informed the methodology and thematic analysis. Breast cancer patients without partners discussed how they made meaning of their relationship status within the context of their cancer experience and barriers they faced dating post-diagnosis or treatment. Oncology care providers, public health professionals, and family scientists can use the study results to better understand the specific concerns and experiences of breast cancer patients without partners. Additional implications of these findings for patients, practice, and research are discussed.

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