Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type




First Advisor

Kim Garrison

Second Advisor

Joni Walton

Third Advisor

Brad Elison


Breast cancer is extremely prevalent is today’s society, yet little research has been done to investigate the effects a breast cancer diagnosis may have on a young mother and her family. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the difficulties experienced by young mothers with breast cancer. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze data obtained from three women interviewed after completing treatment for breast cancer. Each woman was under the age of forty at the time of diagnosis, was married, and had at least one dependent child. The themes: (a) finding a breast lump, (b) taking an active role, (c) facing stress, and (d) looking to the future were identified as part of the breast cancer experience for each of the women interviewed. These four themes came together to create the core concept of taking control. Further research on the problems faced by young mothers and their families is needed to determine how nurses and other healthcare providers can prepare and educate patients and reduce or prevent some of the difficulties faced by the women in this study.

Included in

Nursing Commons