The legacy of cancer: The importance of passing on beliefs, values and positive health behaviors for women with cancer

Elizabeth G. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


This article describes results from a qualitative study that explored the role and function of legacy in the lives of women cancer survivors. Legacy emerged as the passing on of values and beliefs. The results were derived from information gathered from in-depth interviews with 14 women aged 31-81 years, diagnosed with cancer. The interviews collected information related to what the women wanted their legacy to be, and how and to whom they hope to transmit it. Analysis of the interviews was guided by a typology of three distinct but overlapping categories of legacy: Legacy of Belongings, Legacy of Body, and a Legacy of Being (Hunter & Rowles, 2005). One recurring theme from the interviews was the hope that family members would learn from the experiences of the participants and would adopt positive health behaviors and cancer screening. The findings suggest that addressing legacy interests and opportunities may be an important tool for addressing needs of cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-121
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 4 2007



  • Cancer
  • Cancer screening
  • Legacy
  • Survivorship
  • Well-being
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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