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Lancet Oncol. 2004 Feb;5(2):119-24.

Explanatory models of and attitudes towards cancer in different cultures.

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  • University College London, UK. Jenny.Lloyd@nemhpt.nhs.uk


Culture determines the different ways that patients understand cancer, the ways they explain it, and their attitudes towards it. These factors affect the patient's emotional response to the disease and health behaviour in terms of prevention and treatment. In this paper we review the explanatory models for cancer in several cultural groups. These models range from metaphysical to interpersonal and physical. Cultural explanations of health and health behaviour could detract from social and economic factors that might be more important as determinants of these behaviours.

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