Cultural Influences on Prevention for Cancer of the Urogenital and Peptic Systems

The world in which people live is culturally determined. The culture provides societies with ready-made behavioural models for dealing with a variety of situations. In order to ensure the health of a society it is important to explore its cultural influences on prevention, especially on preventive measures related to cancer, which is a disease with connotations of death in the view of many societies. Aim. To investigate the factors related to peoples’ cultural beliefs which may affect their undergoing presymptomatic examinations for cancer. Method. A search was made in the MEDLINE and ScienceDirect bases from 2000- 2008 for reports on presymptomatic examination for cancer of the prostate, colon and cervix. Results. The values, beliefs and religious convictions, the feelings of shame and the fear of the finality of cancer have been identified as the factors that affect the decision to undergo presymptomatic examinations. Ignorance, lack of information, and language differences also exert a significant effect on peoples’ trust in the health services. Finally, the cost of the examinations, and the ease of access to the services may all be of crucial importance. Of note are the views of health professionals who report that the behavioural differences between people are determined mainly by their socioeconomic level and less by their nationality or beliefs. It is agreed, though, that having a different mother tongue affects communication, trust and access to information about health issues. Conclusions. The cultural background is associated with undergoing presymptomatic examination for cancer, but there are attendant factors that influence this relationship. The creation of culturally predetermined programmes for presymptomatic examination for cancer results in raising the level of public awareness, with corresponding prospects of a reduction in cancer mortality.

Category: Volume 48, N 4
Hits: 65 Hits
Created Date: 15-12-2009
Authors: Chrysoula Karlou , Panoraia Rammou