Exploring Coping Strategies Among Young Asian American Women Breast Cancer Survivors
In recent years, breast cancer rates among young Asian American women have been increasing. Despite increases in breast cancer among young Asian American women, little is known about how this population copes throughout diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. This study was a qualitative exploration of how young Asian American women cope with breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. In-depth interviews with 22 young (under the age of 50) Asian American women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer were conducted. Through qualitative data analysis, three major themes emerged including moving from managing the emotions of others to expressing emotional vulnerability, moving from work and productivity to work-life balance, and moving beyond the family and reaching out to breast cancer survivors. At diagnosis, participants worked to maintain normalcy including caring for others and working during treatment. Once treatment was over, women worked to find ways to use their experience as a transformative one and also to develop more positive coping skills including expressing emotional vulnerability and reaching out to others. Further studies are needed to create and test culturally tailored supportive interventions that enhance positive coping tools among young Asian American women diagnosed by breast cancer.