Purpose: This study explored a cancer survivor’s description of the burdens she experienced in addition to her cancer diagnosis while participating in a cancer education program. While this case study’s primary aim was to identify these co-occurring burdens, the secondary aim was to develop responsive program protocols that would not interfere with program dosage and fidelity. Introduction: Several studies have assessed the significant burden that cancer poses to diagnosed individuals. While researchers have worked to develop programs that improve the survivorship experience, such efforts have largely been validated with non-Hispanic white patients who are more socially and economically privileged than cancer survivors from underserved populations. While there is some research on the cancer survivorship experiences of racial/ethnic minority groups, few programs are exclusively designed to address the burden that cancer poses in these already burdened groups. As researchers work to engage racial/ethnic minority participants in cancer education programs designed to improve cancer survivorship, they may encounter unexpected challenges when working with these new consumer groups. This case study explored the multiple burdens reported by a cancer diagnosed Hispanic woman participating in a cancer education program. Methods: The participant was a Spanish-speaking Hispanic mother diagnosed with cancer and residing on the U.S.-Mexico border. Baseline participant demographics, cancer fatalism, depression, anxiety, and acculturation levels were collected. In each of the five bi-weekly program sessions, the participant was asked to report any cancer-related emotional triggers she experienced since her last session. Each education session was audio recorded, transcribed, and translated to English. Two coders analyzed the translated transcriptions using inductive content analysis. The trustworthiness of the analysis was protected by coding to consensus, peer debriefing, and maintaining audit trails. Results: The participant exhibited clinical levels of both depression and anxiety, high cancer fatalism, and a low level of acculturation. Co-occurring burdens described by the participant included Low SES, Negative Cancer Effects, Domestic Violence, Family Concerns, and Issues with Communication and Isolation. This participant reported a variety of emotions and limited coping strategies in response to these burdens. Various protocols were developed to support participants with multiple burdens and to protect the fidelity of the original cancer education program. Conclusion: These findings revealed the excessive burden and challenges affecting the cancer survivorship of a Hispanic mother diagnosed with cancer. As other low-SES Hispanics cancer survivors may be facing similar challenges, researchers should be prepared to develop study protocols, particularly when implementing evidence-based programs validated with privileged populations.

Citation Format: Adriena Hernandez, Isela Garcia, Clara Reyes, Rebecca Palacios. A case study of co-occurring burdens experienced by a Hispanic mother diagnosed with cancer and its implications for a cancer education program in the U.S.-Mexico border region [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2019 Sep 20-23; San Francisco, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(6 Suppl_2):Abstract nr A055.