PURPOSE: This study was to explore the experiences of perioperative patients with cancer. The purpose of this inquiry was to describe the essence of such experiences, and to understand them from the patients'point of view. METHOD: Participants in this study were 9 cancer patients with ages ranging from 31 to 70 years old, living in B city, who experienced cancer operations. Data collection consisted of in-depth interviews and an observation method done from October to December in 2003. In analysing data, Colaizzi's(1978) phenomenological research method was adopted. RESULTS: Five categories emerged from ten theme clusters. The five categories were: 'shock', 'expectations & wishes', 'despair', 'feelings of burden', 'continual pain'. CONCLUSION: The results of this study showthat oncology nurses need to pay more attention to the psychosocial aspect of nursing to empathize and support the cancer patients who suffer and its treatment, and operations.