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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012 Jul;39(4):E324-31. doi: 10.1188/12.ONF.E324-E331.

Surgical treatment differences among Latina and African American breast cancer survivors.

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1
College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To describe breast cancer treatment choices from the perspectives of Latina and African American breast cancer survivors.

DESIGN:

An interdisciplinary team conducted a mixed-methods study of women treated for stages I-IV breast cancer.

SETTING:

Participants' homes in metropolitan areas.

SAMPLE:

39 participants in three groups: monolingual Spanish-speaking Latinas (n = 15), English-speaking Latinas (n = 15), and African American women (n = 9).

METHODS:

Individual participant interviews were conducted by racially and linguistically matched nurse researchers, and sociodemographic data were collected. Content and matrix analysis methods were used.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

Perceptions of breast cancer care.

FINDINGS:

High rates of mastectomy were noted for early-stage treatment (stage I or II). Among the participants diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, the majority of English-speaking Latinas (n = 9) and African American women (n = 4) received a mastectomy. However, the majority of the Spanish-speaking Latina group (n = 5) received breast-conserving surgery. Four factors influenced the choice of mastectomy over lumpectomy across the three groups: clinical indicators, fear of recurrence, avoidance of adjuvant side effects, and perceived favorable survival outcomes. Spanish-speaking Latinas were more likely to rely on physician treatment recommendations, and the other two groups used a shared decision-making style.

CONCLUSIONS:

Additional study is needed to understand how women select and integrate treatment information with the recommendations they receive from healthcare providers. Among the Spanish-speaking Latina group, limited English proficiency, the use of translators in explaining treatment options, and a lack of available educational materials in Spanish are factors that influenced reliance on physician recommendations.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

Oncology nurses were notably absent in supporting the women's treatment decision making. Advanced practice oncology nurses, coupled with language-appropriate educational resources, may provide essential guidance in clarifying surgical treatment choices for breast cancer among culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

PMID:
22750902
PMCID:
PMC3495184
DOI:
10.1188/12.ONF.E324-E331
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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