132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

West African breast cancer focus groups

Angela Vassallo, Center for Research on Minority Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 639, Houston, TX 77030-4009, 713-563-4008, avassall@mdanderson.org and Janice Chilton, DrPH, Center for Research on Minority Health, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd - Box 536, Houston, TX 77030.

BACKGROUND Breast cancer among West African women is an aggressive and progressive disease. Many West African women who have breast cancer are pregnant and/or lactating when they present for treatment. Culture plays a vital role in the health practices for West African women who have breast cancer. Some patients present late due to their fear of mastectomy, while others claim a preference for prayer houses or traditional healers when they are found to have tumors. Most African breast cancer literature originates from Nigeria or England, despite the fact that there is a large African immigrant population in the United States. Thus, it seems, that West African immigrant women could benefit from further cultural-specific cancer research in the United States. OBJECTIVES This study attempts to assess potential behavioral risk factors, as well as cultural-specific cancer prevention techniques for West African women. In order to do this, Focus Groups will be held in March 2004 by the UTMD Anderson Cancer Center with Houston area West African women to learn more about their cultural beliefs and attitudes regarding breast cancer. The Focus Groups will begin to develop methodology and instrumentalization to ascertain behavioral risk factors, as has been previously done with other women of color. Focus Groups will be used as qualitative research methodology in order to determine the West African female perspective on breast cancer. The research team hopes to gather consensus viewpoints that represent the West African female experience. Each Focus Group will be tape recorded and transcribed for data analysis.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Immigrant Women, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Focus Groups are being conducted by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's - The Center for Research on Minority Health.
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: I am currently a MPH student working as a Research Coordinator on this project at UTMD Anderson's Center for Research on Minority Health.

Improving Services for Immigrants, Refugees, Women, and Youth

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