185104 Passing through: Survivorship identity among Filipinas with breast cancer

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nancy J. Burke, PhD , Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background: Filipinas have higher rates of breast cancer incidence than most other Asian subgroups, and Filipinos are the second largest Asian population in the US. Despite this, resources for and data regarding Filipinas with breast cancer are almost non-existent. Specifically, little detailed information exists on perceptions of cancer survivorship and support among Filipinas Methods. We conducted participant observation in 4 Filipina-only support group meetings and 12 meetings of other (non-ethnic specific) breast cancer support groups attended by Filipinas. Detailed fieldnotes were recorded after each session. We conducted 23 in-depth audiotaped ethnographic interviews in either English or Tagalog. Participants were Filipinas ages 40-79 who had experienced breast cancer and their family members. Interviews were translated and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative data software (Atlas.ti) facilitated analysis. Transcripts were reviewed and discussed by four researchers. Findings. Participants elaborated complex understandings of survivorship and support drawing upon multiple sources of knowledge: their own experiences as caregivers, as immigrants and primary sources of financial support for family in the Philippines, as mothers, sisters, daughters, and as patients navigating the complicated systems of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment; as well as biomedical and psychosocial information gained from providers and support groups. Qualitative data provide an important window into personal experiences and pre-existing cultural notions that influence decisions about cancer treatment and support resources, and understandings of survivorship. Conclusions. Women's narratives provide insight into factors influencing survivorship identity and relationship to support resources essential to the development of appropriate breast cancer support services for Filipinas.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize personal, social structural, and cultural influences on survivorship identity among Filipinas and how such information relates to the design of culturally appropriate support services

Keywords: Breast Cancer, Underserved

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator of the study on which I will be reporting. I have a PhD in Anthropology and six years experience conducting research on cancer issues in diverse ethnic populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.