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Open Access Publications from the University of California

D/deaf Breast Cancer Survivors: Their Experiences and Knowledge.

  • Author(s): Berman, Barbara A
  • Jo, Angela M
  • Cumberland, William G
  • Booth, Heidi
  • Wolfson, Alicia A
  • Stern, Carolyn
  • Zazove, Philip
  • Kaufman, Gary
  • Sadler, Georgia Robins
  • Bastani, Roshan
  • et al.

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D/deaf cancer patients and survivors, including D/deaf women diagnosed with breast cancer, have been largely overlooked in the research literature. To gain preliminary information we included 29 D/deaf breast cancer survivors in a larger program of community-academic research aimed at evaluating and addressing the breast cancer educational needs of D/deaf women. Seven D/deaf breast cancer survivors completed in-depth signed (American Sign Language) interviews and another 22 survivors completed a written/signed survey. Both studies revealed significant gaps in breast cancer knowledge among these women despite their having multiple contacts with medical providers, communication challenges in clinical settings, and inadequate access to support and advocacy services during diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Research is needed to develop tailored cancer control programs for this population and to identify strategies for disseminating to health care providers and organizations information about the challenges D/deaf people face in obtaining needed services.

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