Abstracts; The views of African people towards cancer: a literature review

Mulugeta, B, Beaver, Kinta orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6552-2323, Williamson, Susan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9635-4473 and Thomas, Lois Helene orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5218-6546 (2013) Abstracts; The views of African people towards cancer: a literature review. Psycho-Oncology, 22 . pp. 1-29. ISSN 10579249

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-1611.2013.03239.x


BACKGROUND: The World Health Organisation reports that cancer mortality rates in developing African countries are rising because late diagnosis limits treatment options. In the UK there is evidence of inequalities in the delivery of cancer services to black and minority ethnic groups contributing to deaths from late diagnoses. UK studies of the African population are limited and focus on the African Caribbean community. Hence, UK cancer prevention strategies may not account for the African population’s cultural beliefs or attitudes towards cancer; this may affect awareness of the signs and symptoms.
AIM: To identify evidence-based information about African immigrants’ views regarding cancer.
METHODS: Six databases were searched: Academic Search Complete, AMED, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and Soc Index. The literature search was extended to include grey literature and a search of reference lists of relevant studies. Publications not written in English were excluded.
RESULTS: Six qualitative, nine quantitative, and one mixed method study were identified; all except two were conducted in the USA. The majority indicated that African people had low levels of knowledge about cancer risk factors, signs and symptoms. Misconceptions, cultural and religious belief and fear appear to influence African people’s views towards cancer; this may affects their behaviour in terms of seeking treatment.
CONCLUSION: This review demonstrates a need for UK based studies to determine the relevance of review findings towards, and fill the gaps in knowledge about, the growing UK based African population.

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