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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UNC: Researchers Promote Survivorship Programs Specific to Latino/a Cancer Patients

As the number of cancer survivors increases, there is a lack of evidence-based, culturally relevant and supportive care programs for Latino/a cancer survivors. But Dr. Carmina G. Valle, assistant professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, and her team have adapted a program to fill this gap.

A new paper, “¿Ahora qué?: Cultural Adaptation of a Cancer Survivorship Intervention for Latino/a Cancer Survivors,” was published July 1 in Psycho-Oncology. Dr. Valle is the lead author

Post-treatment programs for cancer survivors can improve diet, physical activity and weight among cancer survivors and show promise for reducing morbidity and mortality. Despite these benefits, relatively few interventions have been developed for Latino/a cancer survivors.

Dr. Valle says Latino/a cancer survivors’ needs may differ from those of survivors from other populations, necessitating the development of evidence‐based, culturally appropriate cancer survivorship programs. This group historically has experienced poorer access to health care compared to other racial and ethnic groups, and they are less likely to be diagnosed with localized cancer. These survivors, therefore, may have a greater need for informational and supportive care.

“Using materials that are not culturally adapted might result in non-participation in programs or use of materials,” says Dr. Valle. “For example, if nutrition information isn’t tailored to culturally relevant foods, populations may not invest in dietary changes. Several focus group members also mentioned that their jobs involved physical labor, so not being able to reach up — perhaps post-mastectomy or due to other physical limitations from cancer — resulted in job loss.”

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