Volume 12 Supplement 1

Breast Cancer Research 2010

Open Access

Psychosocial impact of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in African, Caribbean and South Asian women

  • G Patel1,
  • D Harcourt1,
  • N Rumsey1 and
  • H Naqvi2
Breast Cancer Research201012(Suppl 1):P55

https://doi.org/10.1186/bcr2552

Published: 18 May 2010

Introduction

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancers in the UK and affects women of all ethnic groups. The psychosocial impact of breast cancer has been well documented. However, the research conducted in this area has been primarily focused on mainstream Caucasian women. There is very little work within the breast cancer literature that captures the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women.

Objective

To explore the experiences of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in African, Caribbean and South Asian women in the UK.

Methods

Twenty-three English-speaking breast cancer survivors (11 South Asian and 12 Black women) were recruited for this study. The women were obtained via snowball sampling and through various cancer-related support groups (chain referral sampling). A semi-structured interview was conducted with each participant. The interviews were then transcribed verbatim and inductive thematic analysis was conducted.

Results

Thematic analysis of the data revealed six key themes: dealing with the illness as a family, healthcare experiences, body image concerns, social support, spirituality and life post cancer. Support and spiritual beliefs were identified as highly important coping mechanisms.

Conclusions

While BME women share similar concerns to Caucasian women, their experiences are also influenced by cultural-specific concerns. This study has important implications for healthcare professionals and recognises the need to provide culturally sensitive care and support to BME women, which is tailored specifically to their cultural values and beliefs.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England
(2)
Bristol Primary Care Trust

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

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