"Money talks. And the society we live in is very harsh.” Cancer Care-Seeking from the Perspectives of Guam’s Chamorros

Date
2013-09
Authors
Moss, J.
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Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, University of Hawaii at Manoa
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Abstract
Cancer mortality is rising at an astonishing rate on the island of Guam compared to the US. The indigenous people of Guam, the Chamorro, suffer from the highest rates of cancer death compared to other ethnic groups. To better understand some of the factors underlying these mortality rates, in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 self-identified Chamorros of Guam to explore their experiences seeking screening and treatment for cancer. Respondent’s care-seeking was significantly influenced by their family’s wealth and their health insurance coverage. Informants who did not seek regular cancer screening reported financial barriers along with a lack of awareness of cancer screening. Immediate family members facilitated increased access to cancer care, but extended family members sometimes caused increased stress for participants with cancer. Public awareness campaigns promoting cancer screening need to be tied to structural changes to the health care system to make cancer care financially accessible for care-seekers.
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Chamorro, Guam, cancer, healthcare
Citation
Moss, J. (2013). "Money talks. And the society we live in is very harsh.” Cancer Care-Seeking from the Perspectives of Guam’s Chamorros. Journal of Indigenous Social Development, 2(1).
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15 pages
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