Breast cancer survivorship: are African American women considered? A concept analysis

Barbara Johnson Farmer, Eva D Smith
Oncology Nursing Forum 2002, 29 (5): 779-87

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: To apply Rodger's (1989) evolutionary view of concept analysis to the term "cancer survivorship" with a heightened focus on breast cancer and African American women.

DESIGN: Qualitative, concept analysis.

DATA SOURCES: 50 references from the disciplines of nursing and medicine.

DATA SYNTHESIS: This analysis revealed that the concept of cancer survivorship is unique, evolving, and based on the meaning individuals give to a diagnosis of cancer and their experiences of living beyond the diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS: The concept of breast cancer survivorship can be operationally defined as the process of living through the cancer experience beyond a breast cancer diagnosis. A crucial need exists to explore the meaning of cancer survivorship among African American women as a basis for culturally competent care.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Nurses and other healthcare professionals must comprehend the meaning of breast cancer survivorship and its implications for cancer survivors. The meaning of cancer survivorship to African American and ethnic minority women must be explored. Culturally relevant cancer survivorship education and care should be provided for African American women and other cancer survivors of ethnic minorities as well as those involved in the women's social and healthcare world. Nurses and healthcare professionals must continue to advocate for health policies to improve the lived experiences of all cancer survivors.

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