oa Curationis - Factors contributing to late breast cancer presentation for health care amongst women in Kumasi, Ghana : original research
Background: Delay in presenting breast cancer for health care is dangerous because it can increase the mortality rate amongst affected women. Delaying health care and treatment makes it difficult to manage advanced breast cancer successfully. Understanding the factors that contribute to delays in presentation for health care can save lives.
Objectives: The purpose of the study was to describe the factors which contribute to the late presentation of Ghanaian women with breast cancer for health care at a tertiary hospital in Kumasi, Ghana.
Method: A descriptive qualitative research design was utilised to answer the research question: 'What factors contribute to presenting with late breast cancer for health care amongst Ghanaian women who were treated for breast cancer at a tertiary hospital in Kumasi, Ghana?' A sample of 30 women diagnosed with breast cancer and presented with Stage II and Stage III participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews and field notes were conducted for data collection. Content data analysis was used in line with the research question.
Findings: Five themes were discovered as findings. These were: lack of knowledge about breast cancer; fear of cancer treatment and its outcomes; poverty; traditional and spiritual beliefs and treatments and caring for others.
Conclusions: We recommend the development of breast cancer awareness programmes and health education at primary health care level.
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