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Although very little is known about African American cancer patients' pain experience, a few studies have indicated that their cancer pain experience is unique and somewhat different from that of other ethnic groups. The purpose of the study reported in this article was to explore African American cancer patients' pain experience using an online forum. This study was a qualitative online forum designed from a feminist perspective and conducted among 11 African American cancer patients who were recruited through both Internet and real settings. Nine online forum topics were used to administer the 6-month online forum, and the data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Four themes emerged through the data analysis process. First, participants viewed cancer as a challenge in life that they should fight against. Second, cancer pain was differentiated from ordinary pain because cancer was stigmatized in their culture. Third, participants viewed that African Americans, especially women, were culturally raised to be strong, and this African American cultural heritage inhibited cancer patients from expressing pain and seeking help for pain management. Finally, the findings indicated certain changes in perspectives among African American cancer patients during the disease process, which might make them tolerate pain through praying to God and reading the Bible. Based on the findings, we suggest further studies among diverse groups of African American cancer patients, with a focus on cultural attitudes toward cancer pain and influences of family on cancer pain experience.
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