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  • 1.
    Kohi, Thecla W
    et al.
    Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    von Essen, Louise
    Uppsala University.
    Masika, Golden M
    Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong / University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania.
    Gottvall, Maria
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences. Uppsala University.
    Dol, Justine
    Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
    Cancer-related concerns and needs among young adults and children on cancer treatment in Tanzania: a qualitative study2019In: BMC Cancer, ISSN 1471-2407, E-ISSN 1471-2407, Vol. 19, no 1, article id 82Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Seventy percent of deaths of cancer occur in low or middle-income countries, where the resources to provide cancer treatment and care are minimal. Tanzania currently has very inadequate facilities for cancer treatment as there are only five sites, some with limited services; two are in Dar es Salaam and one each in Mwanza, Kilimanjaro and Mbeya that offer cancer treatment. Despite cancer being a prevalent problem in Tanzania, there is a significant shortage of information on the experiences of young people who receive cancer treatment and care. The aim of this study was to explore cancer-related concerns and needs of care and support among young adults and children who are receiving cancer treatment in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    METHODS: Using an explorative, qualitative design, two focus group discussions (FGDs) with young adults (18 to 25 years) and four FGDs with children (9 to 17 years) were held. Data were transcribed into English and analyzed using content analysis.

    RESULTS: Identified concerns included physical effects, emotional effects, financial impacts, poor early care, and poor treatment. Identified needs included the need for improved care in hospital by the staff, need for community support, financial needs, needs for improved cancer care and treatment in the hospitals, and the need for increased education about cancer. Resilience was identified, particularly around hope or faith, having hope to be healed, and receiving good care from staff.

    CONCLUSION: Young adults and children receiving cancer treatment in Tanzania have many needs and concerns. Improvements with regard to the care provided in hospital by the staff, the cancer care and treatment in the hospital, and population-wide education about cancer are necessary to address the identified needs and concerns. Further studies on specific approaches to address the concerns and needs are also warranted.

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