Bag It Cancer continually reviews the Bag to ensure it is as helpful as it can be for those living with cancer. This spring we conducted research through a series of interviews and focus groups of Latino and Hispanic survivors, caregivers and other stakeholders for input on how to better address their values, beliefs, language, and culture in the Spanish Bag.
We heard about a variety of topics that would be beneficial to include in the Spanish Bag, or address in a different way in the Bag.
For example, to many people, cancer=death. If someone is diagnosed with cancer, the only possible outcome is death. We hope to dispel this commonly-held misconception and others by educating Bag users and families about the evidence-based facts about cancer. We gained more insight about the importance of family in the Latino and Hispanic communities. Family members often take part in the decision making about treatment. Their involvement in that process, and as caregivers, can have huge impacts on a patient’s wellbeing.
We also learned that if nutritional information in the Bag isn’t tailored to culturally relevant foods, patients and caregivers may not make necessary changes to their diet during and after treatment. We plan to include recipes from Latina kitchens that adapt favorite Latin dishes to make them healthier – lower in fat, richer in fiber and vitamins, but still tasty.
Latinos and Hispanics are disproportionately affected by poor conditions of daily life which are shaped by a variety of structural and social position factors (such as income, education, occupations, cultural values, and social support systems), known as social determinants of health. These factors impact their cancer care and survival. We can’t overcome all of these barriers, but we can do our small part by educating and guiding Latinos and Hispanics with a more culturally-tailored Bag It Bag.
We look forward to introducing the new bicultural Bag It Bag to you and your patients at the end of the year.