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 Background to the Study
 Despite advances in treatment and care, cancer remains a devastating chronic disease for patients and their families. The International Union against Cancer (UICC) Cancer Congress (2008) reports that: “Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, cancer kills more than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined, there are more than eleven (11) million new cases and close to eight (8) million deaths worldwide per year due to cancer and by 2030, this will increase to almost sixteen (16) million cases and around eleven point five (11.5) million; also about twenty five (25) million people worldwide are living with cancer”. The World Health Organization (2010) International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2011 & FMOH (2007) report that cancer is one of the leading killers of Nigerians and it has become a major public health problem, but its burden in Nigeria is empirically not fully known due to underreporting of cases, lack of appropriate diagnosis, limited access to care, differences in technical manpower and infrastructure as well as quality of data systems. The report also states that “cancer is a crisis for the person diagnosed with cancer and for the family”. In Nigeria, cancer and HIV/AIDS are two important chronic diseases associated with severe distress before eventual death. Cancer is also the leading cause of death, both in developed and developing countries (Lyon, 2009; Obalua, 2010). In the year 2010, it was projected that cancer will constitute about 20% of the disease burden in Africa; but global cancer rates could increase by 15 million new cases by the year 2020 (WHO, 2012). The report also declared that cancer rate is set to increase at an alarming rate globally, with increased burden of caregiving. The predicted sharp increase in new cases – from 10,000,000new cases globally in 2000 – 15,000,000 in 2020 will mainly be due to steadily aging populations in both developed and developing countries, current trends in smoking prevalence and the growing adoption of unhealthy lifestyles. Glajchen (2008) opined that the rising incidence rates of other emerging cancers in Africans such as breast and prostrate cancers and HIV/AIDS – associated malignances present new challenges in prevention and treatment for health care providers, researchers, policy makers and also create terrible burden to cancer caregivers. It has also been reported that over 75 percent of cancer cases occurred in low-and middle-income developing countries like Nigeria where resources available for prevention, diagnosis and treatment are limited or non existent (O’Neil, Marconi, Surapruik & Blum, 2010). It is expected that by 2030 the number of deaths will rise to 11.5 million (FMOH, 2008). WHO (2008) reported that 3.47 million Nigerians are already with cancer, while South Africa, America, UK, and China have 2.56 million, 1.7 million, 1.3 million and 2.2 million persons living with cancer respectively. The trend towards shortened hospital stays and outpatients or home care implies that the burden of caring for chronically ill patients (including terminally ill patients) is increasingly falling on their family members (Ubalua, 2010). McCorkle and Solanke (2006) remarked that the location of care for the oncology/seriously ill has quickly changed from the hospital (once the primary setting for care) to the home. Cancer caregiving at home often done by a family caregiver can be very stressful, as many home care recipients require help with activities of daily living and many have memory or other additional problems. Caregiver burden is thus a condition related to many family caregivers globally (Zarit, 2006). It is the physical, emotional, social and financial problems experienced by family member caring for physically and/or mentally/terminally ill patient (Grater, 2005; Asuquo, 2007). Caregivers’ perception of burden in this context is the feelings, needs, difficulties, pains or distress experienced by family members caring for a cancer family member at home/hospital. Cancer survivors often suffer from various degrees of permanent disabilities, and sustain impairments that significantly affect their personal, familial and social well-being. Due to its unpredictable nature, cancer often leaves cancer survivors and their caregivers unprepared to deal with its impact on daily life. Often the unprepared caregivers and cancer survivors experience fear, anxiety, fatique and worry about failing health and the possibility of cancer recurrence or death. Caring for a cancer family member in the home can therefore be a burden. The challenges and pressures of family caregiving are a reality of daily life (Hooyman, Gonyea & Montgomery, 2006). Today, family caregivers monitor chronic and sometimes acute medical conditions as well as provide long-term care at home. Estimated million cancer caregivers exist in the south-south of America (National Cancer Institute Report, 2011). Besides limitations of cancer caregiving, some benefits of caring for the cancer patients have also been reported as follows (Antoni, Lehman, Kilbourn, Boyers, 2010): spiritual growth through prayers to cope with caregiving demands, psychological adjustment in life in terms of becoming stronger and better able to manage stress and problems, provision of social support (becoming a social resource person to meet the social needs of the patients), showing empathy for others (understanding other person’s feelings and experience of the person living with cancer), developing a deeper sense of purpose in life with a greater focus on priorities (values) relating to challenges of cancer caregiving, changes in interpersonal relationships and self-view. There is dearth of information relating to burden and benefits of caregiving to cancer patients treated in University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar in Cross River State specifically.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages124 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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