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Qualitative analysis of cancer patients’ experiences using donated human milk
Journal of Human Lactation (2009)
  • Caroline H. Fee, San Jose State University
  • S. Rough
  • C. Hollenbeck, San Jose State University
  • P. Sakamoto

This represents the first published account from the patient's perspective of the use of human milk as cancer therapy. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of 10 participants. Five were patients and 5 were family proxies. Individual interviews were conducted using confirmatory interviewing technique to obtain individual perspectives on the motivation for cancer patients to take donated human milk. Human milk therapy improved the quality of life (QOL) measures in the physical, psychological, and spiritual domains for most patients interviewed. The patients continued their use of human milk despite cost, taste, and discouragement from the conventional medical community. The study results support the theory that QOL may be more important to cancer patients than cancer outcomes and may improve patient medical care overall. These interviews offer information to cancer patients, their practitioners, and donor milk banks on outcomes and symptom relief from this therapy. J Hum Lact. 25(2):211-219

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Caroline H. Fee, S. Rough, C. Hollenbeck and P. Sakamoto. "Qualitative analysis of cancer patients’ experiences using donated human milk" Journal of Human Lactation Vol. 25 Iss. 2 (2009)
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