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Latin Women More Likely to Be Unhappy With Breast Cancer Treatment Decisions

Spanish-speaking women need more culturally targeted information, study finds

FRIDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Latina women are almost six times more likely than white women to report great dissatisfaction and regret about their choice of breast cancer treatment, a new report says.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that despite being just as involved with their doctor in deciding the treatment plan, Latinas were more likely to say they would have preferred more involvement in the decision-making even though they ended up with the same treatment plan as other women. This was especially true in Latinas who preferred to speak Spanish, a group that said it had difficulty understanding written information about breast cancer.

The findings, based on a survey taken by 925 women with non-advanced breast cancer living in the Los Angeles area, were published in the November issue of Patient Education and Counseling.

"Even though they received similar amounts of information as whites, Latinas who prefer speaking Spanish reported a strong desire for more information. Doctors may need to make additional effort to ensure this information is understandable and culturally appropriate for all ethnic groups to improve the decision-making process for breast cancer patients," study author Sarah T. Hawley, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a news release issued by the school.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about breast cancer.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, Nov. 18, 2008

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