“I am a complete woman”: Dragon boat and breast cancer survival

Maria Luisa Guinto-Adviento, Margarita Asuncion Orsolino Zavala


Being diagnosed with breast cancer is like receiving a death sentence. While some surrender to their fate with diminished meaning of life, others manage to accept the challenges of their condition and move on with greater appreciation of life. This qualitative study examined the experiences of breast cancer survivors whose engagement with dragon boat enhanced their quality of life despite the traumatic discovery, treatment and long-term effects resulting from the illness. A focus group discussion (FGD) was conducted with three Filipina survivors of breast cancer who were actively engaged in dragon boat paddling. The in-depth discussion among the participants provided rich data on their survival of breast cancer and how dragon boat provided them physical and psychosocial benefits. Thematic analysis of the transcription data from the FGD yielded the following themes: (1) family as source of strength, (2) acceptance of breast cancer, (3) mutually supporting relationships, (4) increased personal strengths, (5) greater appreciation of life and (5) I Am a Complete Woman. Results were discussed within the framework of the Post-Traumatic Growth model (Schaefer and Moos, 1998).


Breast cancer; Dragon boat; Post-Traumatic Growth; Focus group discussion; Thematic analysis

Full Text:


Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM
Copyright (c) 2017