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Research Looks At How South Asian Populations Cope With Cancer

A recent pilot study suggests that there are differences in the way ethnic groups cope with cancer, and a researcher at the University of Leicester, funded by the Leicestershire and Rutland charity Hope Against Cancer, is to investigate this further.

Karen Lord, who holds the first Nursing Fellowship at the University funded by Hope Against Cancer (formerly The Hope Foundation), is researching the information which British Asian patients need and how they cope and adapt to a diagnosis of cancer.

Miss Lord commented: "It is vitally important to understand how ethnically diverse populations react to a diagnosis of cancer, so that services can be focused to offer the best treatment for the psychological complications such a diagnosis can generate.

"To date, there are few studies investigating this and Hope Against Cancer has recently awarded this Fellowship which will allow us to explore the issue further.

"We seek to establish whether the understanding of the concept of cancer varies between Leicester Asians and Caucasians.

"In addition, the study aims to determine if the way we cope with cancer changes over time. This research will generate important answers to these questions and consequently it will enable us to suggest recommendations for support services for South Asian cancer patients in both community and hospital settings."

Karen Lord has worked in cancer nursing and palliative care for almost 20 years and has a particular interest in supporting patients who are coping with the experience of cancer and its treatment throughout several oncology centres in the UK.

She is working with Dr Paul Symonds, in the University of Leicester’s Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine.

Wendi Stevens, of Hope Against Cancer, commented: "It is so important that we work together with the South Asian community in the region on this project. We desperately need people from that community to come forward to help, both individuals to take part as case studies, and businesses to offer financial support, so that we can move forward and target treatments and therapies in the most appropriate way to the people who need help."

Since its beginnings in 2002 the Leicestershire and Rutland charity, Hope Against Cancer, has grown in strength and now funds eleven cancer researchers in our local hospitals and universities.

Founded by the late Allison Wilson CBE, following the discovery that she had cancer, The Hope Foundation was set up to promote clinical trials, with all the benefits these bring to cancer care in the region.

One of the region’s consultant oncologists said: "I cannot emphasise enough how difficult it is to get funding to start any research project. In this regard, the Hope Foundation is completely invaluable in providing funding where we have good ideas, some preliminary data, but clearly not enough information yet to go for a big project grant.

"As a clinician, I therefore just want to emphasise how important these opportunities given to us by Hope are, both to promote cancer research in the region and to ensure that our patients really do benefit."

Ather Mirza | alfa
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