Faith an important factor for Saudi Arabian breast cancer patients

September 16, 2013

A study of Saudi Arabian women's experiences of breast cancer has found that the women's faith in Allah was a significant element in their culture and helped them cope with the condition.

The study involved patients from early, middle and late treatment phases of the disease and found that the women also had unmet communication needs.

Patients in the early phase of treatment appeared to get more detailed information however, they stressed it was important to have information at every stage of treatment.

Doctors were perceived as more authoritative than female nurses, partly because they were Arabic and spoke the patients' language while most complaints were directed at non-Arabic nurses who could sometimes 'lack tact'.

Reporting the study in the journal Cancer Nursing Practice, Howaida Saati said: 'The women's faith fuelled hope that they could be cured. However, they also acknowledged that if Allah chose not to save them then it was his will that they would die from the condition.'

The author added that most women received family support from the time of their diagnosis and throughout treatment and that when nurses and doctors used simple language to convey information, patients reported increased understanding of their condition.

'Findings from this study are encouraging since were not highlighted as major issues in deterring women from seeking care. Cultural beliefs, however, appeared to have a strong influence on acceptance of their condition.

'Consideration should be given to interventions that use women's belief in God to help them cope with illness, such as encouraging patients to seek support from religious organisations or communities,' she added.

Explore further: Initiation of breast cancer treatment varies by race; patient-doctor communication is key

More information: Saati, H. (2013) Saudi Arabian women's experiences of breast cancer treatment, Cancer Nursing Practice, 12, 7, 34-39.

Related Stories

Initiation of breast cancer treatment varies by race; patient-doctor communication is key

May 7, 2013
Black women with breast cancer were found to be three times more likely than their white counterparts to delay treatment for more than 90 days—a time delay associated with increased deaths from the disease, according to ...

Terminology used to describe preinvasive breast cancer may affect patients' treatment preferences

August 26, 2013
When ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS, a preinvasive malignancy of the breast) is described as a high-risk condition rather than cancer, more women report that they would opt for nonsurgical treatments, according to a research ...

First in-depth study of secondary breast cancer patients finds current care inadequate

July 31, 2013
A qualitative study following the experiences of 10 women living with secondary breast cancer in the UK has identified evidence of poor care for this much overlooked group.

Patients get little advice about effect of gynaecological cancer on sexuality, study says

February 21, 2013
A study in Ireland found that women recovering from gynaecological cancer received little advice from healthcare professionals about the effects of the disease on sexuality. This was not as important in initial stages of ...

Study finds important differences in the way clinicians understand and treat early menopause after breast cancer

August 13, 2013
Hormonal treatment for breast cancer causes menopause in over 80% of women in the first year of therapy, but now new research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Climacteric, has found that how these women are diagnosed ...

Factors influencing delay in breast cancer treatment differ for African-American and white women

July 10, 2013
Different factors influence delay between diagnosis and first course of treatment for breast cancer for African-American and White women.

Recommended for you

Scientists develop blood test that spots tumor-derived DNA in people with early-stage cancers

August 16, 2017
In a bid to detect cancers early and in a noninvasive way, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center report they have developed a test that spots tiny amounts of cancer-specific DNA in blood and have used it to ...

Toxic formaldehyde is produced inside our own cells, scientists discover

August 16, 2017
New research has revealed that some of the toxin formaldehyde in our bodies does not come from our environment - it is a by-product of an essential reaction inside our own cells. This could provide new targets for developing ...

Cell cycle-blocking drugs can shrink tumors by enlisting immune system in attack on cancer

August 16, 2017
In the brief time that drugs known as CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, doctors have made a startling observation: in certain patients, the drugs—designed to halt cancer ...

Popular immunotherapy target turns out to have a surprising buddy

August 16, 2017
The majority of current cancer immunotherapies focus on PD-L1. This well studied protein turns out to be controlled by a partner, CMTM6, a previously unexplored molecule that is now suddenly also a potential therapeutic target. ...

Researchers find 'switch' that turns on immune cells' tumor-killing ability

August 16, 2017
Molecular biologists led by Leonid Pobezinsky and his wife and research collaborator Elena Pobezinskaya at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have published results that for the first time show how a microRNA molecule ...

A metabolic treatment for pancreatic cancer?

August 15, 2017
Pancreatic cancer is now the third leading cause of cancer mortality. Its incidence is increasing in parallel with the population increase in obesity, and its five-year survival rate still hovers at just 8 to 9 percent. Research ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.