General Anthropology Division
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Studies show that cancer disclosure practices vary from non-disclosure to full disclosure among certain cultures and have long-term implications for patient and provider communication, and patient health outcomes. The negative perceptions associated with health outcomes of cancer can result in disrupted communication among patients and health care providers leading to increased stress among patients and caregivers. This paper explores cancer disclosure patterns and their influence on interpersonal communication and decision making among patients and family members in the Indian immigrant community. Results suggest that feelings of resilience, filial piety and an altruistic model of familial care-giving often impact the decision to share a diagnosis of cancer among Indian immigrants in the United States. These findings reflect on the intersection between bioethics and patterns of cancer communication which facilitates the need for adopting culturally sensitive communication practices among health providers while dealing with a diagnosis of cancer among Indian immigrants. The study looks at cancer disclosure as a multifaceted phenomenon which involves multiple stakeholders that influence patient agency and the experience of illness within a family unit.