This research is qualitative study, in which 15 Brazilian women (between 35 and 65 years of age) participated, as well as 12 German women (between 50 and 81 years), all of whom were undergoing breast cancer treatment; the diagnosis of which had been obtained between 6 and 24 months prior to the occasion when a single interview was carried out with each one. The central question of this research was: What are the main challenges met by the Brazilian and German women when facing the discovery and treatment of breast cancer? The goals were to carry out internal comparisons regarding illness among the women from each country, and later external comparisons, involving the experiences of the women in both countries. The results found in the study, which adopted Grounded Theory as a theoretical-methodological tool, discuss the differences in obtaining diagnoses — which in Brazil were, for the most part, sought after the women carried out self-examinations of the breasts, identifying alterations themselves; and in Germany, after answering the Health Insurance invitation letter for a screening mammogram. The moment of sharing news of the disease was also investigated, with the sick German women exhibiting more stigma regarding breast cancer than the Brazilian women. Another key factor was the difference between prescribed treatments, as in Brazil all the women went through chemotherapy, with only two receiving radiotherapy. In Germany, on the other hand, all the women went through radiotherapy, with only a third of interviewees receiving a medical referral for chemotherapy. Additionally, different positioning was found in the study in terms of identity, according to symbolic interactionism, and relating to Social Psychology; these are discussed in the work, which is divided into three parts. Finally, it is considered that certain positionings of the women in both countries brought them gains, and diminished suffering up to a point; this occurred when they managed to transcend their own self, with self-acceptance, and an assimilation that carried the self beyond identification with the disease. However, other positionings were detrimental, bringing an attachment to suffering — especially when the self-did not adapt to the new reality of physical and/or psychological losses.