Cancer survivorship: existential suffering

Venke Ueland*, Elin Dysvik, Jessica Hemberg, Bodil Furnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study aimed to explore and describe existential experiences after cancer treatment.
Method: An exploratory phenomenological hermeneutical design was used following in-depth interviews with 21 people.
Results: The study revealed experiences of multifaceted suffering in the form of limitations in everyday life, inner struggles, and bearing the burden alone.
Conclusions: Existential suffering after cancer treatment was revealed as like being in a process of transition, in an intermediate state, as moving between suffering and enduring, and alternating between alienworld and homeworld. A new and broader professional perspective is needed to establish rehabilitation services based on multifaceted experiences of suffering. This means a shift in focus from biomedical symptoms towards understanding of existential meaning for the person.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2001897
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cancer survivor
  • existential experience
  • whole suffering
  • phenomenological hermeneutics
  • isolation
  • lived experience
  • lifeworld


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