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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 6; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010006

African American Women: Surviving Breast Cancer Mortality against the Highest Odds

1
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 881 Madison, Suite 202, Memphis, TN 38163, USA
2
Mustard Seed, Inc., 653 Mississippi Blvd, Memphis, TN 38126, USA
3
Loewenberg School of Nursing, University of Memphis, 3567 Community Health Building, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
4
Department of Management, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
5
Shelby County Health Department, Memphis, TN 38105, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mark Edberg, Barbara E. Hayes, Valerie Montgomery Rice and Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 21 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 September 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [346 KB, uploaded 22 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Among the country’s 25 largest cities, the breast cancer mortality disparity is highest in Memphis, Tennessee, where African American women are twice as likely to die from breast cancer as White women. This qualitative study of African-American breast cancer survivors explores experiences during and post treatment that contributed to their beating the high odds of mortality. Using a semi-structured interview guide, a focus group session was held in 2012 with 10 breast cancer survivors. Thematic analysis and a deductive a priori template of codes were used to analyze the data. Five main themes were identified: family history, breast/body awareness and preparedness to manage a breast cancer event, diagnosis experience and reaction to the diagnosis, family reactions, and impact on life. Prayer and family support were central to coping, and survivors voiced a cultural acceptance of racial disparities in health outcomes. They reported lack of provider sensitivity regarding pain, financial difficulties, negative responses from family/friends, and resiliency strategies for coping with physical and mental limitations. Our research suggested that a patient-centered approach of demystifying breast cancer (both in patient-provider communication and in community settings) would impact how women cope with breast cancer and respond to information about its diagnosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast cancer; African American women; health disparities; survivorship; patient/provider communication; focus group breast cancer; African American women; health disparities; survivorship; patient/provider communication; focus group
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

White-Means, S.; Rice, M.; Dapremont, J.; Davis, B.; Martin, J. African American Women: Surviving Breast Cancer Mortality against the Highest Odds. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 6.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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