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Life must go on: Everyday experiences of colorectal cancer treatments in London

Arteaga Perez, Maria; (2018) Life must go on: Everyday experiences of colorectal cancer treatments in London. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the everyday experiences of colorectal cancer treatments in London (UK) through an analysis of the caregiving practices that both structure the treatment pathway and afford research participants the possibility of ‘getting on with life’. Drawing on 17 months of ethnographic fieldwork inside and outside a publicly funded gastro-intestinal cancer clinic, this thesis mobilises the perspectives of patients, caregivers and health professionals to complicate what patient experience consists of. In parallel to national efforts that gather standardised metrics to measure patient experience as something that is the exclusive responsibility of the cancer clinic, this thesis offers a detailed and context-specific analysis of the ways in which 10 cancer patients and their support networks deal with and make sense of the requirements, side effects and consequences of colorectal cancer treatments. The chapters unpack the relentless but fragile everyday work that is done by research participants to continue living, foregrounding the ethical, material and affective dimensions at stake in navigating the interruption that bowel cancer treatments pose to their lives. Developing the concept of caregiving as a world-making project, this thesis unpacks the potential of care practices to create different possibilities of experience by improvising, crafting and staging environments for comfortable living. In contrast to ethnographic work that conceives of caregiving through its ritual dimensions and performative effects, this thesis makes an argument for the usefulness of exploring caregiving as moral projects that are organised by the values that participants seek to realise. As such, caregiving understood as world-making not only offers a challenging perspective about the ways in which we cope and make sense of the suffering, frustration and anxiety of being confronted with death, but it also foregrounds the practices through which cancer patients and their support networks strive to reconfigure bodies, selves and relationships for an ongoing life.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Life must go on: Everyday experiences of colorectal cancer treatments in London
Event: University College London
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2018. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Caregiving, colorectal cancer, patient experience, NHS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061403
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