Carole Mayer is the Clinical Lead and Manager for the Supportive Care Program and Supportive Care Oncology Research Unit at the Northeast Cancer Centre, Health Sciences North in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. She has worked as a front line clinical social worker, working with people and families affected by cancer. She is now working as an administrator and researcher in the Cancer Centre in Sudbury.
Her field of study for her PhD work was to explore and understand distress experienced by younger women undergoing a breast cancer investigation and diagnosis. The uniqueness of this study is that younger women were interviewed prospectively prior and after diagnosis. Feminist epistemologies provided a theoretical framework to guide the study and principles of Feminist Participatory Action Research were applied as part of the methodology. Research methods included in-depth interviews and focus groups with participants keeping research journals to help them recall their experiences. The knowledge gained from this study can be applied to improve the clinical pathways in breast diagnostic clinics to minimize distress experienced by younger women undergoing a breast cancer investigation.