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Black African migrants' perceptions of cancer: are they different from those of other ethnicities, cultures and races?

Black African migrants' perceptions of cancer: are they different from those of other... Purpose – Cancer discussion is perceived as a taboo subject among different cultures and societies including Africans. This perception has caused limited knowledge about the disease and prevented some from seeking early diagnosis and treatment. With West Africans now living in western societies where cancer is openly discussed, this study aims to explore how black Africans perceive the disease and the implications for healthcare. Design/methodology/approach – Five focus groups of 53 persons from Ghanaian and Nigerian migrant communities in Luton participated in this study. Findings – Perceptions of fear, shame and denial were identified as key elements of how people perceive and react to cancer among the study population. Originality/value – Secrecy and apprehension were identified as major barriers and have prevented some from adequately accessing and utilizing cancer facilities in the country. The feelings of fear, secrecy and stigma associated with the disease across different ethnic groups, cultures and nations also exist among the study population. These outcomes are similar and chime with published findings of limited cancer perception research among other ethnic groups and races here in the UK and across the globe. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care Emerald Publishing

Black African migrants' perceptions of cancer: are they different from those of other ethnicities, cultures and races?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1757-0980
DOI
10.1108/17570981211286732
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Cancer discussion is perceived as a taboo subject among different cultures and societies including Africans. This perception has caused limited knowledge about the disease and prevented some from seeking early diagnosis and treatment. With West Africans now living in western societies where cancer is openly discussed, this study aims to explore how black Africans perceive the disease and the implications for healthcare. Design/methodology/approach – Five focus groups of 53 persons from Ghanaian and Nigerian migrant communities in Luton participated in this study. Findings – Perceptions of fear, shame and denial were identified as key elements of how people perceive and react to cancer among the study population. Originality/value – Secrecy and apprehension were identified as major barriers and have prevented some from adequately accessing and utilizing cancer facilities in the country. The feelings of fear, secrecy and stigma associated with the disease across different ethnic groups, cultures and nations also exist among the study population. These outcomes are similar and chime with published findings of limited cancer perception research among other ethnic groups and races here in the UK and across the globe.

Journal

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social CareEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 23, 2012

Keywords: Fear; Denial; Shame; Culture; West African; Cancer; National cultures; Ghana; Nigeria; Immigrants; Personal health

References