Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Nancy Romero-Daza


applied anthropology, cancer survivorship, fertility preservation, public health, Puerto Rico


While incidence rates are increasing for many cancers in Puerto Rico, mortality rates are declining (Torres-Cintron, et al. 2010), resulting in growing numbers of survivors and creating a situation in which long-term survivorship concerns are beginning to emerge as priorities. The importance of quality-of-life among survivors of cancer is increasingly being recognized among healthcare providers, although there remains a gap in knowledge of how young adult survivors cope with long-term treatment-related physical effects, such as infertility, and of the impact of cancer on survivors' social relationships and future goals.

Because understandings of "cancer survivorship," as well as of reproduction, vary according to cultural context, this study examined the physical and social impact of cancer on young adults in Puerto Rico, and specifically the importance of parenthood. A media analysis of women's magazines, key informant interviews with ten cancer researchers, as well as in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 23 young adult cancer survivors, 16 healthcare providers, nine cancer advocates, and two members of the clergy were conducted in order to shed light on the lived experiences, needs, and concerns of young Puerto Rican cancer survivors.