Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK and affects women of all ethnic groups. The psychosocial impact of breast cancer has been well documented. However, research conducted in this area has been primarily focused on White women. There is very little work within the breast cancer literature that captures the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in Black and South Asian women living in the UK. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 English-speaking breast cancer survivors (11 Black and 11 South Asian women). Thematic analysis of the data revealed 5 key themes: social support, spirituality, body image concerns, healthcare experiences and life post-cancer. The findings showed that, while the BME women shared similar concerns to White women, their experiences were also influenced by cultural specific concerns. This study has implications for healthcare professionals and recognises the need to provide culturally sensitive care and support to BME women, which is tailored specifically to their values and beliefs.
Dr Geeta Patel