Breaking barriers: Exploring breast cancer disclosure to parents




breast cancer, cancer, disclosure, oncology, parents, patient experience


Objective. Breast cancer (BC) diagnosis is considered as a traumatic and life changing moment. Throughout the illness, women often need support from their close family. However, before receiving any support, women must navigate the challenging process of disclosing their diagnosis, which may bring about difficulties and reservations. This qualitative study explores the disclosure process in female patients with breast cancer, focusing on understanding reasons for hesitation, expectations related to parents’ reactions, the act of disclosure, and its outcomes.
Methods. In-depth interviews were structured into two parts. The narrative part was followed by a semi-structured interview. The research population was recruited to meet the conditions of a maximum variation sample (different regions of the country, different age categories, education, stage of the disease, and treatment modality). 53 interviews were collected and transcribed verbatim. The age of participants at the time of the interview was 28–76 years, mean age was 48.61 (SD=13.12). Data from which categories were created were managed in NVivo10 software and were open coded. The codes were then grouped into themes for thematic analysis.
Results. Three main themes emerged for delaying disclosure to parents: a) protecting parents, b) fear of reactions, and c) fear of changes in the parent-child relationship. Each theme contained specific subthemes contributing to the disclosure hesitation.
Conclusion. Women with BC greatly benefit from the support offered by their parents. However, disclosing the diagnosis to them is often challenging. As a result, it is crucial to provide support to women with BC as they prepare to share their diagnosis. Medical staff should also consider including family members in the treatment and care process for patients with BC, recognizing the significance of family support in the overall well-being and coping of patients.




How to Cite

Černíková, K. A., Klůzová Kráčmarová, L., Pešoutová, M., & Tavel, P. (2024). Breaking barriers: Exploring breast cancer disclosure to parents. Československá Psychologie, 68(1), 15-29.