An examination of cancer risk beliefs among adults from Toronto's Somali, Chinese, Russian and Spanish-speaking communities

Paisley, J.A.; Haines, J.; Greenberg, M.; Makarchuk, M-Jo.; Vogelzang, S.; Lewicki, K.

Canadian Journal of Public Health 93(2): 138-141


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-4263
PMID: 11963519
DOI: 10.2307/41993459
Accession: 003640953

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Canada's growing ethnocultural diversity challenges health professionals to develop culturally sensitive cancer prevention strategies. Little is known about the ethnocultural specificity of cancer risk beliefs. This qualitative pilot study examined cancer risk beliefs, focusing on diet, among adults from Toronto's Somali, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish-speaking communities. Group interviews (n = 4) were conducted with convenience samples of adults (total n = 45) from four ethnocultural communities (total 45 participants). The constant comparison method of data analysis identified three common themes: knowledge of cancer risk factors, concern about the food supply, and the roles of spiritual and emotional well-being. Two areas of contrasting belief concerning specific mediators of cancer risk were identified. Findings support the investigation of cultural-specific health promotion strategies emphasizing both the maintenance of traditional cancer protective eating practices and the adoption of additional healthy eating practices among new Canadians. More research is needed to enhance our understanding of ethnoculturally specific cancer risk beliefs and practices to ensure the cultural relevance of programming.