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Cancer. 2003 Jan 1;97(1 Suppl):318-23.

Barriers to breast cancer control for African-American women: the interdependence of culture and psychosocial issues.

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Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4243, USA.



This study evaluates the cultural context of the behaviors and beliefs of African-American women to determine the success or failure of breast cancer prevention and control interventions. Cultural and psychologic reactions, such as fear, distrust, fatalism, and other "historic rooted" factors, are major determinants to participation in these interventions by African-American women.


Psychosocial and cultural issues were delineated through a literature review in the areas of cancer prevention, breast cancer control, and African-American women. Assessments were conducted to document key successful models and activities that increased the participation of African-American women in breast cancer prevention and control interventions. Current community-based intervention strategies and activities were assessed.


Effective breast cancer prevention and control programs must address and develop cultural competent models that promote behavioral change in this population of women.


Studying the relationship between culture and psychosocial issues is integral to our understanding of how African-American women participate and respond to cancer prevention and control interventions. Cultural competent models that reduce and eliminate cancer disparities in this population must be developed.

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