The first study of its kind has revealed that members of the UK South Asian community are far less likely than non-Asians to take up invitations for bowel or breast cancer screening, while other work has suggested that cancer diagnosis and treatment information should be tailored in a culturally sensitive manner as British Asian and White patients differ in their reactions to cancer diagnosis.
We need to understand how different ethnic groups cope with cancer and what beliefs they hold about the disease to avoid perpetuating the racial inequalities that currently exist with regards to cancer prevention, screening and treatment, says Karen Lord, Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Palliative Care Team, University Hospitals of Leicester.
In this month’s Science & Public Affairs, she discusses the results from two pilot studies that reveal British Asian patients are more likely to disbelieve their diagnosis than British White patients, and also that the two populations differ in how they would prefer to be told they have cancer. A two-year study by researchers at the University of Leicester, with support from research charity Hope Against Cancer, now seeks to build on this work, with a view to improving psychological support services for our increasingly diverse population.
While 31 per cent of White patients in the preliminary study exhibited denial about their cancer diagnosis, this rose to 48 per cent in the British Asian population. Asian patients were also found to have a more fatalistic attitude towards their diagnosis. Such beliefs may have a detrimental effect on a patient’s ability to cope with the experience of cancer, and denial was strongly associated with anxiety and depression.
In a second study looking at the informational needs of patients, it was discovered that Asian patients, in contrast to White patients, would prefer to receive the cancer diagnosis from their GP rather than the hospital consultant.
Over the next two years, 200 White and 200 Asian patients diagnosed with a variety of different cancers will be recruited from the Leicestershire Cancer Centre to further examine core concepts of distress and denial. They will be asked to complete a set of questionnaires over a period of nine months to investigate whether patients alter the way they cope over time and whether their use of denial as a coping strategy decreases. The study also seeks to understand the beliefs patients hold about the causes and curability of cancer – whether they differ between White and South Asian individuals, and whether cancer means different things in different cultures. For example, there is no similar word for cancer used in Gujarati.
‘This research will help us to focus and deliver information about cancer and its treatment in a culturally sensitive manner,’ says Miss Lord. ‘The findings of this study should lead to improvements in support services for Asian patients suffering from cancer.’
In a related article in this month’s magazine, Ala Szczepura, Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Warwick, comments on the need to promote racial equality for cancer screening. Her work has revealed that members of the UK South Asian community are only half as likely as non-Asians to take up an invitation for bowel cancer screening, and 15 per cent less likely to attend breast cancer screening. The research, which also highlights that uptake differs between South Asian groups, suggests that the inequalities are a result of cultural differences and language needs.
‘It is the first study of its kind, and highlights the need for a national audit system to examine ethnic variations in screening uptake and five-year survival,’’ says Professor Szczepura. ‘Methods for improving uptake need to be identified.’
Lisa Hendry | alfa
Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University
Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.07.2018 | Transportation and Logistics
16.07.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science