Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Breast cancer disproportionately affects Black women, and as such, there has been a concerted effort to comprehend the psychosocial ramifications of this disease on their lives, according to a poster presentation from the Journal of Advanced Practitioner in Oncology conference JADPRO Live (Abstract JL1015P). Through a multidisciplinary collaboration among patients, social workers, and oncologists, an improvement in these psychosocial factors is feasible, suggested Virginia Leach, a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues.
A total of 20 Black women who survived breast cancer were recruited for this quantitative analysis. All patients were required to complete a pre-interview questionnaire designed to gather demographic information followed by a one-on-one interview with a member of the research team to assess the psychosocial factors they have faced during cancer treatment and survivorship.
The study findings suggest that the psychosocial challenges faced by this patient population are similar to those faced by postpartum women. These symptoms include irritability, depression, insomnia, and loss of appetite, all of which are indicative of postpartum depression. Most commonly, these patients have had difficulties with self-confidence and body image issues because of the impact of their breast cancer surgeries and treatments.
“If breast cancer survivors, particularly Black breast cancer survivors experiencing systemic and institutional racism, are treated with the same care as postpartum individuals are given, there can be a shift in how oncologists work with breast cancer survivors,” commented the study authors.
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