Introduction/Background*Cervical cancer is predominantly a cancer of younger women and improvements in oncological outcomes have resulted in more women surviving cervical cancer and living with the long-term effects of treatment at a younger age. Understanding the recovery process and the experience of cancer survivors is essential to increase awareness of the long-term psychological and physical needs of survivors.
Methodology A qualitative study was conducted with the aim of understanding the recovery process and return to daily activity in women treated for cervical cancer. Interviews were undertaken face-to-face and via the telephone using a semi-structured interview schedule. Inductive thematic analysis was used to derive a thematic framework from the data.
Result(s)*Twenty-one women who had been treated for cervical cancer aged 18-60 years and were living in the UK participated in an interview. Analysis of the data revealed themes which described participants’ experience and perceptions of treatment as a paradox; physical recovery and self-management strategies of treatment related issues; Psychological coping both in the short and long-term after treatment. A key finding were the nuances in different experiences between treatment types, with physical changes perceived to be more disruptive following radical treatments, whilst psychological repercussions seemed to be significant regardless of treatment type.
Conclusion*This study provides novel insight into the varied recovery experiences of those treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy after cervical cancer, which can be used to improve recovery experiences for future survivors.
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