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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 205-210

A brief encounter with the middle east: A narrative of one Muslim woman diagnosed with breast cancer

1 Psycho-Oncology Services, Oncology Institute, Assuta Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel
2 School of Behavioral Sciences, Tel-Aviv Yaffo-Academic College, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Correspondence Address:
Gil Goldzweig
Associate Professor of Psychology Dean, School of Behavioral Sciences, The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.172485

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One of the major challenges the healthcare profession face is understanding the variability and different meanings of the concepts of age and aging within different cultural, social, religious, and ethical contexts. People over the age of 65 in the Middle Eastern countries are estimated to comprise 4.7% of the population and are expected to grow rapidly. In the Middle East, cancer is the leading cause of death among women aged 40-79 and one of the leading causes of death for women over 70 years of age. Many women in the Middle East live within a system of religious values and moral perceptions based on an intergenerational family structure and clear family roles. We present a singular case study describing the importance of the ability to successfully understand cross-cultural issues in a clinical setting. Attention should be given to barriers and facilitators related to health and cancer education. It is recognized that personal, psychological, religious, environmental, social, and economic factors influence participation in any health programs. Cultural and religious factors, in particular, have been shown to play a vital role in women's attitudes to breast cancer screening. It has to be noted that the case presented is meant to present and demonstrates cross-cultural issues rather than to represent Muslims in the Middle East.

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