Women's experiences with breast health

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Trudeau, Jo-Ann Marie Colette
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Breast cancer is a compelling issue for women. With no primary prevention available, women are encouraged to accept and practice secondary prevention strategies such as breast health. This study investigated women's breast health experie ces under the current model of public health, the New Public Health (NPH). The NPH seeks to instruct the individual and the collective on how to live their lives. This is achieved through health promotion that includes three interrelated concepts: risk, surveillance and the self By conducting 16 semi-structured interview, three main themes emerged from the interviews: Breast Cancer: Family Matters; Breast Cancer Prevention Strategies: Peace of Mind?; and the Rational Self: Under Construction. The women shared their experiences and it was determined that women engage in breast cancer screening behavior that best fits their psycho-social environmental contexts. These women illustrated that in order to become more effective, the NPH framework needs to become less punitive, accepting of differences and personal experiences, and cease to regulate social behavior. Only then is there an opportunity for the relationship between the health care system and women to improve.