Type C – Cancer Stigma Study
The stigma associated with cancer has been found to play a significant role in negatively impacting the psychosocial wellbeing of cancer patients, cancer risk reduction behaviour and adherence to treatment. While there is research evidence of this internationally, this has not been examined in any detail in South Africa. The experiences of CANSA’s Service Delivery team indicate that cancer stigma is a significant problem in many of the communities in which they work.
CANSA launched a qualitative study in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape to examine this in more detail. Interviews and focus groups with cancer patients were conducted to explore experiences of stigmatisation, the impact this has had, how people have coped and what their needs are for support and addressing this issue. Focus groups took place with members of the public to explore from an ‘outside’ perspective why cancer is stigmatised. This is being explored in different race and cultural groups where different ‘mental models’ or perceptions of illness and cancer may exist.
Data collection is to be completed by the end of November 2017.