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A UBC professor has determined that people diagnosed with terminal cancer–who have hope, positivity and family support–are able to live well during the advanced stage of the disease.

Carole Robinson, professor emeritus with UBC Okanagan School of Nursing, recently published a paper explaining the process of living well with an awareness of dying.

“While there is a growing body of research focused on select aspects of people’s experiences with advanced cancer, there is little research examining the process of living with advanced cancer across the trajectory towards death,” says Robinson. “Even patients whose prognosis is limited are living longer and want to live well, making this issue a global concern.”

Robinson notes that globally there are 14.1 million new cancer cases diagnosed each year, 8.2 million cancer deaths, and 32.6 million people living with cancer. Historically, researchers have studied the concept of living well with a chronic illness, but not specifically cancer. Robinson says those studies convey the idea it may be possible to live well with advanced cancer, but little is known about how it is done or how to support it.

The study analyzed 22 interviews with Spanish residents involved in previous research that explored their experience

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