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We are all in this together: Intercultural comparisons of African American and White breast cancer survivors

Jan C. Jernigan, PhD1, Jeanette M. Trauth, PhD2, Ilene K. Jewell, MPH2, and Susan S. Smola, MBA2. (1) Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, 33 Gilmer Street, Suite SE, Unit 2, Atlanta, GA 30303, 404-463-0215, janjernigan@gsu.edu, (2) Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

There is widespread consensus that women treated for breast cancer should receive regular follow-up surveillance. The American Society of Clinical Oncology has recommended standard follow-up procedures. Yet, little is known about the extent of follow-up surveillance behaviors in breast cancer survivors or those factors that influence these behaviors. This presentation will present findings from an NCI-funded study conducted to examine psychosocial factors that impact follow-up behavior in breast cancer survivors. Semi-structured surveys were conducted with 115 African American (18) and White (97) breast cancer survivors. Open-ended responses in the survey were analyzed using Atlas. Coded data was analyzed quantitatively using SPSS. Women who participated in individual interviews provided information about: 1) their diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer and well as the follow-up care they received; 2) satisfaction with their treatment and follow-up care; 3) their ability to adhere to recommended follow-up care; 4) the impact of breast cancer on their lives (affects relationships, coping, control, body image); and 5) feeling about being a breast cancer survivor. This study is the first to examine psychosocial and behavioral factors that impact follow-up surveillance behaviors and the impact of these behaviors on cancer outcomes in different ethnic groups. This research is needed in order to identify and develop approaches for improving overall care and the quality of life in cancer survivors. Implications for improving the treatment and follow-up experience of breast cancer survivors will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Breast Cancer, Ethnicity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Experiences of Cancer

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA