The rise of cancer in urban India: Cultural understandings, structural inequalities and the emergence of the clinic

Broom, Alex and Doron, Assa (2012) The rise of cancer in urban India: Cultural understandings, structural inequalities and the emergence of the clinic. Health, 16 3: 250-266. doi:10.1177/1363459311403949

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Author Broom, Alex
Doron, Assa
Title The rise of cancer in urban India: Cultural understandings, structural inequalities and the emergence of the clinic
Journal name Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1363-4593
1461-7196
Publication date 2012-05
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1363459311403949
Open Access Status
Volume 16
Issue 3
Start page 250
End page 266
Total pages 17
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Cancer services in India have evolved and expanded significantly in recent years, with a surge in the availability of biomedical oncological treatment facilities for certain cohorts of the Indian population in urban areas. Despite significant and sustained economic development in many areas of India, major issues persist in the delivery of cancer care, even in the context of relatively prosperous urban populations. This article explores the dilemmas evident in Indian cancer care as perceived by a group of Indian oncology clinicians. Specifically, the interviews focused on their perspectives on the key challenges facing cancer patients, particularly in relation to help-seeking and access to care. The main concerns that emerged in the interviews were: (a) practical constraint (i.e. access and treatment); (b) cultural values (i.e. communication, stigma and the clinic); and (c) structural conditions (i.e. inequalities related to place, gender and class). We unpack these as important elements of cancer care in contemporary India, and present Farmer’s notion of structural violence, among other concepts, as potentially useful for understanding some facets of this social problem. We conclude that without a greater understanding of social and cultural issues shaping cancer care in India, little progress will be made in coping with a disease that is set to become a major burden within an increasingly prosperous and ageing population.
Keyword Cancer and palliative care
Social inequalities in health
Sociology of health in developing countries
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 20 May 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 06 Apr 2011, 21:07:59 EST by Debbie Lim on behalf of School of Social Science