A new study explores concerns of African American breast cancer survivorsSeptember 01, 2016
(PHILADELPHIA) - Although there is some overlap, past research has shown that the challenges faced by African American breast cancer survivors differ somewhat from Caucasian women. But the studies that demonstrated difference were not designed to explore those challenges in depth. Now new research from Thomas Jefferson University helps identify problems that are important to African American women - a first step in creating programs that better serve the needs of the community, and which could help reduce cancer disparities and improve health outcomes.
"We know that 21 percent of African American women with breast cancer don't survive five years past their diagnosis, compared to only eight percent of Caucasian women. We wanted to explore whether the problems they experience after their first round of treatment might contribute to that disparity," says lead author Andrea Barsevick, Ph.D., R.N., a Professor in Medical Oncology and researcher at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University. The study was published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer.
In order to understand the experience of African American breast cancer survivors, the researchers conducted eight focus groups with 60 survivors to learn what was most important to them. One of the ideas that came up in every focus group was the problem of medical mistrust. Women expressed concern that the information they received was inferior to Caucasians leaving them less prepared to deal with survivor challenges after treatment completion.
Findings from the focus groups were used to refine a survey of survivor problems to be distributed to African American survivors. A survey of 31 survivor concerns that had been validated previously was modified to include 20 new items based on the focus group discussions. Questions about medical mistrust were also added to the survey based on concerns raised in the focus groups. The survey was mailed to over a thousand African American cancer survivors, of which 297 completed surveys were returned (a response rate comparable to other studies). Respondents rated problems like, "Feeling less feminine," or "fatigue, loss of strength," or "being treated as different from others," as "not a problem, somewhat of a problem, or a severe problem."
The researchers found that survivor problems reported in this survey could be grouped into four categories of concern: emotional, physical, resource, and sexual problems. Previous research using this survey identified physical, emotional, and economic concerns in a mixed group of cancer survivors (mixed race, gender, and cancer diagnosis).
In addition, the importance of these groups of problems varied between survey participants. For example, younger women reported more concerns overall than older women, women who had two or more chronic conditions in addition to cancer also reported a higher number of survivor problems. And women with higher levels of medical mistrust also had more survivor problems.
Does this suggest that survivor problems are being caused by mistrust or that younger women are at greater risk for problems than older women? "Not necessarily" says co-author Amy Leader, Dr.P.H., M.P.H. an assistant professor of Medical Oncology and research at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center who collaborated on this research. "The associations aren't causal, but they do show us how much diversity there is within the African American women as a group, and that it will be important to craft different approaches to address the needs of different parts of the community. For example, different types of educational resources may be needed by younger versus older survivors. And for all of them, educational materials and resources should be culturally tailored to African American survivors."
"Combating cancer disparities in the African American community will take a multi-faceted approach," says co-author Patricia K. Bradley, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., associate professor in the College of Nursing at Villanova University. "This research is the first step toward bridging the gap in care after initial cancer treatment is completed."
"African American survivors have taught us what's important to them," says Dr. Barsevick. She and her colleagues are now working with a panel of local advisors to create a tailored survivorship care plan that includes resources and coping methods addressing the concerns that are most important to African American women.
This study was funded by the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant, RSGT #10-243-01 and National Cancer Institute, K01 CA184288. The authors report no conflicts of interest.
For more information, contact Edyta Zielinska, 215-955-5291, email@example.com.
Jefferson, through its academic and clinical entities of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, is reimagining health care for the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey. Since its mergers with Abington Health and Aria Health, Jefferson now has 23,000 people dedicated to providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educating the health professionals of tomorrow, and discovering new treatments and therapies to define the future of care. With a university and hospital that date to 1824, today Jefferson is comprised of six colleges, eight hospitals, 24 outpatient and urgent care locations, and a multitude of physician practices throughout the region, serving more than 96,000 inpatients, 363,000 emergency patients and 1.9 million outpatient visits annually.
For more information and a complete listing of Jefferson services and locations, visit http://www.jefferson.edu.
Thomas Jefferson University
Related Cancer Articles:
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.
Related Cancer Reading:
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Author)
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.
Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly... View Details
F*ck Cancer: A totally inappropriate self-affirming adult coloring book (Totally Inappropriate Series) (Volume 4)
by Jen Meyers (Author)
*A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to support research dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Because fuck cancer.
This book is for you.
If you are fighting cancer, this is for you. If your brother, sister, mom, dad, son, daughter, relative, or friend is fighting cancer, this is for you. If you've lost someone to cancer like I have, this is for you. If cancer affects your life in any way, this is for you.
The stress of cancer can feel crushing. But perhaps this book can help you get away from it all, if only for a little... View Details
The Metabolic Approach to Cancer: Integrating Deep Nutrition, the Ketogenic Diet, and Nontoxic Bio-Individualized Therapies
by Dr. Nasha Winters ND FABNO L.Ac Dipl.OM (Author), Jess Higgins Kelley MNT (Author), Kelly Turner (Foreword)
The Optimal Terrain Ten Protocol to Reboot Cellular Health
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, cancer rates have increased exponentially―now affecting almost 50 percent of the American population. Conventional treatment continues to rely on chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to attack cancer cells. Yet research has repeatedly shown that 95 percent of cancer cases are directly linked to diet and lifestyle. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer is the book we have been waiting for―it offers an innovative, metabolic-focused nutrition protocol that... View Details
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
by Rebecca Katz (Author), Mat Edelson (Author)
This new and revised edition of the IACP award-winning cookbook brings the healing power of delicious, nutritious foods to those whose hearts and bodies crave a revitalizing meal, through 150 new and updated recipes.
Featuring science-based, nutrient-rich recipes that are easy to prepare and designed to give patients a much-needed boost by stimulating appetite and addressing treatment side effects including fatigue, nausea, dehydration, mouth and throat soreness, tastebud changes, and weight loss. A step-by-step guide helps patients nutritionally prepare for all phases of... View Details
Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: 2013 Edition
by Greg Anderson (Author)
The ground-breaking classic guide to surviving cancer?now completely updated!
Revised and updated for the first time since 1999, this invaluable guide to cancer recovery offers an easily accessible plan for patients and family members. Written by a cancer survivor, the book is an inspiring, action-oriented roadmap for those who choose to adopt a stance of hope and take charge of their diagnosis.
With penetrating insights that bring together more than two decades of scientifically supported research and experience, Anderson reveals a step-by-step holistic action plan... View Details
Tripping over the Truth: How the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Is Overturning One of Medicine's Most Entrenched Paradigms
by Travis Christofferson (Author), Dominic D'Agostino (Foreword)
With a new foreword by Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, PhD and epilogue by the author
A masterful synchronization of history and cutting-edge science shines new light on humanity's darkest diagnosis.
In the wake of the Cancer Genome Atlas project's failure to provide a legible roadmap to a cure for cancer, science writer Travis Christofferson illuminates a promising blend of old and new perspectives on the disease. Tripping over the Truth follows the story of cancer’s proposed metabolic origin from the vaunted halls of the German scientific golden age to... View Details
The Truth about Cancer: What You Need to Know about Cancer's History, Treatment, and Prevention
by Ty M Bollinger (Author)
Cancer touches more lives than you may think. According to the World Health Organization, one out of three women alive today, and one out of two men, will face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
To Ty Bollinger, this isn’t just a statistic. It’s personal. After losing seven members of his family to cancer over the course of a decade, Ty set out on a global quest to learn as much as he possibly could about cancer treatments and the medical industry that surrounds the disease. He has written this book to share what he’s uncovered—some of which may shock you—and to give you... View Details
50 Days of Hope: Daily Inspiration for Your Journey through Cancer
by Lynn Eib (Author)
You’ve just heard a diagnosis that shakes your world: It's cancer. And what you long for most is the hope that everything will be okay. You are not alone. As a longtime cancer survivor, Lynn Eib knows firsthand how that feels. And as a patient advocate helping thousands facing cancer, she also knows what gives people hope. In 50 Days of Hope, Lynn shares amazing, true stories of those who have been in your shoes and discovered that when God and cancer meet, hope is never far away. Whether you’re a cancer patient or walking with a loved one on a cancer journey, you’ll find 50... View Details
Anticancer: A New Way of Life
by David Servan-Schreiber MD PhD (Author)
The revolutionary, New York Times bestselling guide to the powerful lifestyle changes that fight and prevent cancer—an integrative approach based on the latest scientific research
“A common-sense blueprint for healthy living.” —Chicago Tribune
“Resonating with cancer support communities and recommended nationwide.” —Los Angeles Times
“Life affirming . . . filled with practical advice.” —The Seattle Times
David Servan-Schreiber was a rising... View Details
Mom Has Cancer! (Let's Talk About It Series)
by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos (Author), Marta Fabrega (Illustrator)
The sensitively written Let's Talk About It Books encourage preschool-age and early-grades children to explore their feelings, deal with problems that trouble them, and understand others who have problems of their own. Each title speaks to a particular concern that children might encounter in the course of growing up. All books in this series have appealing color illustrations on every page, and are available in both English and Spanish language editions. A short section at the back of each book offers related advice to parents. This book points out that a diagnosis that Mom has... View Details