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Breast cancer, poverty and mental health: emotional response to the disease in women from popular classes

Rodrigo Sanches Peres Manoel Antônio dos Santos About the authors

This study aimed to analyze the emotional response of a low-income group of women to the breast cancer. The sample was composed by 15 patients from a mastectomized women's support entity. Data were collected through individual face-to-face semi-structured interview. The results were appraised according to a classification system that postulates the existence of four categories mutually excluding: denial, stoicism, affliction and confrontation. The results obtained indicate that stoicism was the more frequent emotional response in the evaluated group. The scientific literature shows that stoicism can contribute to the temporary reduction of stress, but it gradually leads to a uselessness feeling which tends to make difficult the psychosocial adjustment to the disease and its treatment.

breast neoplasms; poverty; mental health; psychological adaptation

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