Breast cancer in rural communities
Fuchs, Julia M.
Master of Public Health
SubjectBreast cancer Canada
Medicine, Rural Canada
Rural health services Canada
Telehealth, telemedicine, teleoncology
MetadataShow full item record
This paper provides a review of the existing research on women’s experience of breast cancer in rural communities. It includes a total of 46 studies that used quantitative and qualitative research methods. In the review of the literature, the challenges identified for rural women with breast cancer include: travel issues; financial hardships; work-related issues; impacts on family members and caregivers; psychosocial adjustment; and information needs. The findings indicate that rural and urban women often receive different treatments for breast cancer; that access to health care services is more limited in rural communities; and that rural women and their families have a considerable need for support and information. Nonetheless, rural women with breast cancer are able to rely on friends and family, peer supports, doctors, and informal networks in their close-knit communities. Further, utilization of health care delivery approaches such as mobile breast screening, telemedicine and teleoncology have the potential to increase rural women’s access to health services. The review discusses the practice and policy implications of these findings as well as suggestions for future research.