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Open Access Social Support for Breast Cancer Management Among Portuguese-Speaking Immigrant Women Le soutien social dans le cadre de la gestion d'un cancer du sein chez les immigrantes lusophones

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Abstract:

Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer among women in Canada. Much health sciences research has examined this topic. The importance of formal and informal social support in managing breast cancer has received particular attention, but research with immigrant women has been limited. This article presents the findings of an applied ethnographic study conducted in Toronto, Canada, with 12 Portuguese-speaking women from Brazil, Portugal, and Angola about their need for, access to, and use of social support in the management of breast cancer. The key findings pertain to cancer-related fears and stigma that restrict access to and use of informal social support, barriers to obtaining formal social support, and women's resilience in the context of limited informal and formal social support. Implications for healthcare providers are presented at micro, meso, and macro levels.

French
Le cancer du sein est l'un des cancers les plus fréquemment diagnostiqués chez les Canadiennes. De nombreuses recherches en sciences de la santé se sont penchées sur cette question. L'importance du soutien social formel et informel dans le cadre de la gestion d'un cancer du sein a fait l'objet d'une attention particulière, mais peu d'études ont été réalisées auprès des femmes immigrantes. Cet article présente les résultats d'une étude ethnographique appliquée menée à Toronto, au Canada, auprès de 12 femmes lusophones du Brésil, du Portugal et de l'Angola. L'étude se penche sur leur besoin d'un soutien social pour gérer le cancer du sein, ainsi que sur leur accès et leur recours à un tel soutien. Les principales conclusions portent sur les peurs et les stigmates liés au cancer qui entravent l'accès et le recours à ce type de soutien. Elles portent aussi sur la résilience des femmes dans un contexte où le soutien social informel et formel est limité. Les auteures font état des implications à l'endroit des fournisseurs de soins de santé, à une micro, méso et macro-échelle.

Keywords: APPLIED ETHNOGRAPHIC METHOD; BREAST CANCER; CANADA; INFORMAL AND FORMAL SOCIAL NETWORKS; PORTUGUESE-SPEAKING IMMIGRANT WOMEN; RESILIENCE; SOCIAL SUPPORT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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