"Once you get cancer you die. There is no way to get saved from cancer." A qualitative exploration of patients' perceptions towards cancer in Fiji
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AbstractUnderstanding patients' perspective to get an insight into cancer, and how best the public health systems can battle with this disease is the way forward in this current world. This study aimed to explore patients' knowledge about common cancers, barriers to assessing cancer information and cancer preventative approaches in Fiji. The study used a qualitative method approach that was conducted among patients who attended Special Outpatients (SOPD) at the four selected health centres in Lautoka Subdivision, Fiji from 1st March to 30th April 2021. A semi-structured open-ended questionnaire was used to guide in-depth interviews. These audio recordings were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. All interview transcripts were read and similar words and phrases were assigned numbers which were grouped together to identify themes and sub themes. Twenty-eight patients took part in the in-depth interview and the responses were grouped into four themes including; cancer knowledge, diagnosis of cancer in a close friend/family, barriers of communication and optimizing cancer awareness. Patients' awareness about common cancers and cancer risk factors was low. Many barriers for cancer screening were highlighted including stigmatization, fear, worry, death, lack of information, herbal medicine use, lack of resources and delay in diagnosis. Awareness strategies highlighted by participants included community outreach programs, house to house visits, opportunistic screening, engagement of community health care workers and the concept of a cancer hub centre. It is evident that there is a range of views from patients towards cancer and it is important to understand these perceptions to better guide public health interventions concerning cancer. This puts more focus on the need to invest more in information, education, and communication material for public campaigns that target a variety of people for a wider reach.
CitationKumar K and Mohammadnezhad M (2022) "Once you get cancer you die. There is no way to get saved from cancer." A qualitative exploration of patients' perceptions towards cancer in Fiji. PLoS ONE. 17(12): e0277970.
Link to publisher’s versionhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0277970
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