A Medical Anthropological Study Of Illness Experience of Cancer Patients, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Pottumuthu, K H and Narasimhan, Haripriya (2015) A Medical Anthropological Study Of Illness Experience of Cancer Patients, Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad.

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Cancer has now become a widely discussed and feared disease among the public in India. This study is a qualitative approach in order to understand the ways in which ordinary people, called ‘laymen’ by medical practitioners, understand and experience cancer. Based on in-depth interviews and observations among fifty informants drawn from the middle class and wealthy backgrounds at a private hospital in Hyderabad city. The study takes medical anthropology’s approach to disease and illness by examining cancer patients’ ‘illness narratives’ (Kleinman 1989).This study focuses on tracing the journey of the patients through their explanations for various issues related to cancer. The ‘illness narratives’ highlight the trauma that cancer patients undergo, particularly in the questions they ask about their own individual ‘selves’, and their social obligations. One should give space for the patients to express how they experience the impact of the disease and subsequent treatments such as chemotherapy on their body and changes in their food habits caused due to intake of medicines. These subjective insights can substantially contribute to improving the kind of care cancer patients receive, from family and the medical professionals. This research will also discuss issues of (lack of) compliance with medication and treatment, and access to alternative medical systems. An anthropological study of this nature can also complement research on cancer in fieldslike genetics. A discipline like medical anthropology, which deals with both biological and social aspects of the medical settings, is well suited to study diseases like cancer from multiple perspectives in hospital settings.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Narasimhan, HaripriyaUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Illness Experience, Cancer Patients, TD338
Subjects: Social sciences > Anthropology
Social sciences > Asian Studies
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Library Staff
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2015 11:30
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2019 06:28
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/1595
Publisher URL:
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