Special Issue

Climate change and cancer: an oncology nurse perspective in two Colombian regions

9 Nov 2023
Natalia Martínez Arias, Ángel Alfonso Aguirre Durán, Mayra Yiseth Ramírez Lozano, Celia Díez de los Ríos de la Serna, Mar ía Fernanda Olarte-Sierra, Julia Challinor, Yuli Vanessa Girón Arbelaez, Magali Yolima Mera Díaz, Luz Damaris Rojas Rodríguez

Given the lack of publications and public policies addressing the relationship between climate change and cancer care in Colombia, we present an exploration of the perspectives and communication practices of a group of nurses from Valle del Cauca and Antioquia. We provide a context based on the available literature on climate change and general health then provide an overview of cancer in the country. Next, we present how oncology nurses have incorporated information about strategies their patients can use to mitigate the effects of climate change on their health. We highlight the centrality of patient-centered communication using a framework from the US National Cancer Institute) and the fundamental role nurses have in patients' experiences throughout their treatment. We conclude with the need to investigate oncology nurse communication practices in other Colombian hospitals, with consideration of culture, cancer stigma, barriers to care and other factors that may influence successful climate change mitigation and to better understand how other Latin American oncology nurses are addressing this serious challenge.

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