The existence of incredibly vast and diverse communities and people are what defines Australian culture.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics identifies up to 30% of the Australian population as people of foreign origins. Most of these citizens are concentrated in Sydney making it melting pot of cultural diversity.
Culture influences the unique way in which an individual interprets and adapts to their specific environment.
The role of culture and ethnic identity in healthcare, especially in long term illnesses like cancer, is proven to be extremely significant; impacting understanding of disease, the interpretation and expectations surrounding health care interactions and an individual’s attitudes toward the illness.
In the same vein, culture has also influenced cancer prevention and treatment; with ethnic minority status linked to higher communication barriers between clinicians and patients. Treatment for cancer has affected reproductive capacity leading to heightened psychological distress associated with the loss of reproductive potential. Certainly, then, conversations about fertility issues before commencing treatment for cancer are incredibly important to have,
These issues are especially relevant for adolescent young adults (15-24 years) undergoing cancer treatment, who have a proven record of increased reproductive concerns reducing their chances of starting a family, despite being of reproductive age.
The Future Fertility research team recognizes the need to understand the experience of patients who identify as Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD), with fertility care. Our aim is to understand how these experiences, as influenced by cultural identity, co-relates to reproductive health concerns and fertility related distress.
This research will assist in the provision of better patient-centred treatment and allow clinicians to work more effectively with young cancer patients who identify as being culturally diverse within an Australian setting.
For more information on the study, contact the Future Fertility research team at: [email protected]