The life expectancy of women in Iran has increased in the last quarter of the 20th century. On the other hand obesity has increased during the first decade of the 21th century for both adult males and females but particularly for females. These trends are contemporary with a growing incidence of breast cancer among women in urban areas. Casual observation has shown that organized and systematic coping support and mechanism for women with breast cancer disease has expanded much less than the treatment technology, leaving surviving women in ambiguity and fear of unknown. The analysis of qualitative data from a preliminary study of women in one city confirms the limited support for coping with the disease and the aftermath of the technology based treatments. Except for a few educated women, the majority of the subject studied in this research saw their situation as catastrophic and ambiguous. They relied on their religious belief and family support to cope with their situation, but had limited success due to their lack of knowledge about the natural order of the disease and consequences of treatment. While there is need for more comprehensive studies of coping strategies using representative sample of breast cancer patients across rural and urban areas of Iran, the findings from the present study calls for organized and systematic community based support system to help women faced with this disease, to cope.
Working paper 2013-1, Department of Sociology, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville NC, 28301