Breast Cancer in African American Women

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Despite the fact that Caucasian women in the United States have a higher incidence rate of breast cancer than any other racial group, African-Americans succumb notably worse to the disease and record the highest mortality rate. To comprehend the barriers and challenges that predispose African-American women to these disparities, this research was conducted to get a better understanding from the perspective of oncologists. With diverse ethnicity and gender representation, the participation of seven medical, surgical and radiation oncologists that provide breast cancer care to African-American populations were enlisted for a descriptive research approach (Dapremont,et al.

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, 2017). Descriptive research is appropriate for this study due to the fact that it will provide a deep understanding of the root causes of breast cancer disparities in African-American women from the perceptive of health providers. The researchers applied the in-depth interview research method for data collection.

This data collection phase occurred within a period of two year and participants were subjected to both face-to-face and semi-structured interviews. In order to adequately analyze data collected, thematic analysis was used. In addition, the deductive a priori template of codes was applied to simplify and make clear data collected. The behavioral model of health services use was the theoretical framework that the researchers applied in this study. The research findings demonstrated that series of predisposing factors such as socioeconomic status, health literacy, culture and availability and access to health services contribute significantly to the differences in outcome of breast cancer between African-American and Caucasian women.


An appropriate and well framed research question is a crucial step in any research methodology. The research question posed by the researchers was appropriately written, constitute a clear focus and it sheds light on the ongoing problem that desperately needs to be resolved. The research question is measurable and precipitate data that can be supported. The subjectivity of the research question led to the development of justification that is based on data analysis. The significance of the research question is that it is an accountable inquiry into the epidemic of breast cancer disparities in African-American women. Oncologists play a significant role in the health of breast cancer patients as they are usually first line health providers. However, research have not delved into their perspective of the issue at hand and this is a big mistake.

For this research to take this route, it is unearthing a series of information that is crucial to eradicating this epidemic. Oncologists help treat breast cancer and therefore are of great understanding of those barriers that prevent patients from defeating the deadly disease. As such, this research makes an original contribution to existing body of knowledge. Many factors such as the triple negative genes contribute to the outcome of breast cancer especially among African-American women. However, health utilization is also an indicator of the disease outcome and this is affected by an individual’s socioeconomic status, demographic and characteristics of community. This information is only retrieved by the application of the behavioral theory of health services use.

As such, this theoretical framework is pertinent for this type of study. The issue at hand is not a quick fix and actually requires an in-depth exploration and understanding of the phenomenon. This is only made possible with the application of a qualitative research design; hence, the research method is appropriate. Qualitative research methods often have a smaller sample size than those used in quantitative studies. The sample size of seven that was utilized in this study is adequate given that in regards to the concept of saturation, no additional sampling of data will generate new information. In-depth interview methods are not too perturbed with generalization of research findings to an enormous population of interest and therefore does not necessitate substantial sampling size. The random selection of the seven participants is one way researcher’s bias was controlled. This randomization prevented the unjust selection of a specific demographic.

The use of open-ended questions and those that focus on the view point of the participants also controlled researchers’ bias. Lastly, researcher’s bias was controlled  by the continuous assessment of participants perception. Even though participants represented both race and gender, the study failed to secure the participation of  African-American male oncologist. Thus, the perspective of this demographic was missed in the research. This research provides a rich  in-depth understanding of the issue, however,  generalization cannot be expanded beyond this sample size. Being that the appropriate method was utilized, less threat to the research findings and true to the given
population, the conclusions are justified by the findings.

As mentioned above, little or no research is conducted on the perspective of health providers in the disparities of breast cancer in African-American women. Combatting this epidemic requires the collaboration of those that treat the disease such as oncologist. This study revealed that in addition to biological factors, health service utilization is a major player in the outcome of the disease and this is influenced by one’s demographic and socioeconomic status.


Without a doubt, biological and genetic factors predispose a huge number of African-American women to breast cancer mortality. However, it is puzzling to comprehend that Caucasian women have a higher rate of surviving the disease than African-American women even though they have an increased incidence rate. Numerous research have come up with conclusions to the root causes of this issue from the perspective of African-American breast cancer survivors. However, little attention has been focused on the perspective of health care providers such as oncologist on these issues.

The information gathered from this research will fill the gap in knowledge of the factors such as characteristics of community and health utilization as being an important indicator of the outcome of this deadly disease. My research interest has centered around discovering those factors that have led to the disparities of breast cancer outcomes in African-Americans. In the same manner, the researchers in this study have also undertaken an exploration of those factors that increase the risk of African-American women from succumbing to the disease.

The objective of my research is to get a descriptive in-depth analysis and not that of a predictive one of the issue. This can only be achieved by means of a qualitative study and hence the reason why this research is applicable to my research. This study serves as a guide due to the fact that the information provided by this source will be used to make an argument of my research. In addition, the background information provided by this study will be utilized to introduce the issue of breast cancer disparities in African-American women.

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Breast cancer in African American women. (2019, Aug 05). Retrieved from