“The Continuous Shadow of My Mother’s Breast Cancer”: exploring the voice of daughters

Su Ying Fang, Yu Ming Wang, Kuo Ting Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Women whose mothers have been diagnosed with breast cancer are concerned about their mothers’ illness and fear developing cancer themselves. This study, conducted in Taiwan, aims to understand daughters’ lived experiences after their mothers were diagnosed with breast cancer. Method: In-depth interviews were conducted to understand daughters’ emotional reactions to their mothers’ diagnoses, their challenges with taking care of their mothers, and their concerns or perceptions regarding their own risks of developing breast cancer. Themes were identified using a phenomenological approach with 18 transcripts. Results: Six themes were identified: “taking care of my mother is my responsibility”, “desiring sufficient information/support”, “feeling helplessness in providing care”, “expecting a cancer diagnosis in fear”, “anticipating reassurance other than surveillance”, and “worrying about myself is not a priority”. In addition, these themes reflected their concerns about how to support their mothers physically and psychologically, how to manage their own worries about cancer, and how to maintain their health. Conclusion: The daughters prioritized the responsibility of caring for their mothers physically and psychologically rather than managing their own cancer concerns. Health care professionals should be aware of these priorities to provide education regarding the care of high-risk populations and psychological support to adult daughters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1481
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


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