The breast cancer experience of rural women: a literature review

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Abstract

This report is a review of studies that focus on rural breast cancer survivorship. It includes a total of 14 studies using large databases and 27 other studies using qualitative and quantitative methods. In our review of this literature, we identified four broad themes, including access to treatment and treatment type, medical providers and health information, psychosocial adjustment and coping, and social support and psychological support services. We review the findings of the rural breast cancer survivorship studies within each of these broad themes. A few of the findings of the review include that rural and urban women receive different primary treatments for breast cancer, that rural women may have greater difficulty negotiating their traditional gender roles during and after treatment, that rural women desire greater health-related information about their breast cancer, and that rural women have less access to mental health therapy. The review discusses the implications of these findings as well as the weakness in the literature. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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