Discoveries, breakthroughs, and advances made in the area of cancer prevention and cancer control over the last 2 decades have led to declines in the rates of cancer incidence and mortality and increases in life expectancy and survival for many cancer patients. However, although the trends relative to cancer incidence, mortality, and 5-year survival for the nation as a whole have significantly improved, data reveal that there are significant disparities in the degree to which the burden of cancer that remains is borne by racial and ethnic minority population groups. As a practice-oriented discipline grounded in research, nursing could have a dominant role in efforts aimed toward eliminating the cancer disparities experienced by racial and ethnic population groups. Several reports of nursing studies have been published in the peer-reviewed literature that address factors associated with the cancer disparities experienced between and among U.S. racial and ethnic minority groups. However, given that few efforts have been undertaken to comprehensively review and critique this body of research, little is known about the scope, quality, and potential impact of this body of nursing science. This report presents the results of one of the first comprehensive reviews of nursing research undertaken to explore and address factors associated with the evolution of the cancer-related health disparities in ethnic and racial minority population groups within the United States. The findings reveal that, while the body of nursing research has contributed much to the identification and understanding of factors associated with the excess cancer morbidity and mortality of minority populations, in order for the profession to more fully contribute to the elimination of cancer-related disparities, there is a need for nurses to further expand and strengthen this base of knowledge.
Annual Review of Nursing Research – Springer Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2004