The author aimed at establishing the experience that African American women realized concerning screening for cancer. Cancer is one of the world’s killer diseases and affects many people among them African American women. The common type of cancer highlighted by the author is breast cancer that is common among the group. Despite the increase of the disease, screening of the women offers a great relief because it reduces the mortality of cancer among the group thereby improving breast cancer outcomes. The author further notes that despite the screening efforts, breast cancer is still common among the group members as they are first diagnosed when they have the late-stage disease. To test for the screening of breast cancer among African American women, the researcher utilized hermeneutic phenomenological research methods among low and middle-income African American women. Data was collected through interviews to gain a deeper understanding of breast cancer screening in the group. From the study, the researcher established that there varied experiences with breast cancer since women spoke of their holistic approach to health that does not separate the breasts from the entire body. In conclusion, the study recommended the inclusion of focus on minding the body self and spirit in the promotion of breast cancer screening among African American women.
To establish the prevalence of breast cancer among African American women, it was necessary to establish the findings from previous studies (Janice, Cohen & Tarzian, 2001). The researcher conducted a literature review from various studies that revealed that breast cancer is common among American women and that it accounted for every three cancer diagnoses. To reduce the prevalence, secondary screening is has been used with many health organizations recommending monthly breast self-examination among women. Health behavior attitudes are another factor examined by previous studies. It is important to note that the health belief model, theory of reasoned action, and Transtheoretical models are significant among women in the treatment of breast cancer. Studies established that some of the hindrances to the screening of breast cancer among African American women were the fear of finding a lump, the high costs, and the lack of provider recommendations. Others are lack of information and knowledge on breast cancer, limited perception of risk, and distrust of health delivery system among many other factors. In addition, there are cultural hindrances to breast cancer screening. They include the belief of injury to the breast and blood toxins that cause cancer that air causes cancer and that chiropractic method that can easily lead to cancer.
From the above literature reviewed in the article, it is clear that breast cancer among African American women is still common and there is a need for increased information about it. Despite the findings, it is clear that the study is quite old since it was conducted in the year 2001. Therefore, some of the factors reviewed in t h literature could be outdated as African American women have changed their perceptions about breast cancer and its causes (Janice, Cohen & Tarzian, 2001).
The researcher applied various methods to conduct the study. First, the researcher selected a sample of 8 and 15 women representing low income and middle income respectively. The sampled women were aged between 45 to 81 years old with the mean age being 52 years. The selection of the sample was good. However, the sample size itself was too small to require the generalization of the findings of the study. The researcher should have selected a larger sample of women both African Americans and Whites for effective comparison of the findings concerning the prevalence of breast cancer. In order, the sample selection technique should have been specified. The technique for selecting the sample should have involved the provision of equal chances for all women from the two groups to participate in the study.
Concerning the collection of data and its analysis, the researcher utilized the hermeneutic phenomenological method. Open-ended unstructured questionnaires were used to conduct interviews from the small sample. While interviews are a good qualitative method of collecting data since it enhances understanding of breast cancer screening among African American women, the researcher should have used other techniques such as the utilization of structured questionnaires that contained all types of questions. The sampled elements should have been monitored for a long period of over six months to establish changes in the patterns of breast cancer screening. Since there were more women from the middle-income group, equality should have prevailed with the researcher balancing the equal number of women from all groups (Janice, Cohen & Tarzian, 2001).
The study established that there was a low level of screening for the two groups of women studied with only a small group of women reporting to consistently screen for breast cancer. In addition, only a few women had utilized the BCS holistic approach to breast cancer screening that involved the body, self, and spirit. Those minding their bodies consistently screened their bodies for breast cancer and vice versa while spiritually, some had faith that breast cancer infection will heal or that they are not susceptible to breast cancer. Although these findings are generalized, the researcher should not have generalized the study findings given the small-sized of the sample.
This study could be improved in various ways. First, the study is quite old and is of little significance in modern society. Despite screening of breast cancer being encouraged, there are better methods of dealing with the situation. The study could be improved by selecting a large sample size that could easily represent the entire population of African American women. This is because the sample of 23 women was too small. The methods of collecting data could have been tested in a pilot study. Additionally, other methods such as structured questionnaires and observation should have been used to collect data from the sample. Reliability and validity of the study should be established with the researcher indicating the level of reliability and validity. Although a discussion section links the findings of the survey with the reviewed literature, it is important to note that the recommendation section is missing and future surveys should incorporate this section.
This article examines the screening of breast cancer among American women of African origin. While the study is simple to understand, it lacks credibility since it utilized a small sample with the outcome being generalized to a large audience of African American women. A large sample selection technique was not fair since it was skewed toward middle-income women. In addition to being quite old, future studies could repeatedly be conducted on the topic with a large sample being selected to represent the entire population.
Janice, P., Cohen, M., & Tarzian, A. (2001). African American Women’s Experiences with Breast Cancer Screening. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 33(2), 134-140.