Table 2

Sources of information external to the cancer centre

Prior experience with cancer“My mother-in-law died from cancer”
“He deteriorated very fast, he was very thin; me and my family thought that disease was very difficult… then he died, it was sad.”
“A sister from the church, they removed one of her breasts”
“They suffered a lot because of money; you’re not only worried because of the disease but also because of money, they suffered…”
Media“We’ve seen it on TV and we just know that it’s a deadly illness”
“I heard in the media, social media, that thank God a lot of children have survived cancer and leukemia, but I that’s what I heard”
Community discussion“Right now, worried because of what people say, I was waiting for another illness, something simpler, that could be cured with just one medicine, but what I’m hearing this is complicated”
“What people say is, if he’s got cancer then go and prepare everything for his funeral”
“There was a person who called me from my community and told me; look you’re there, if God wants to take [your daughter], that’s God’s will, that hurt.”
“My colleagues told me about (UNOP]…they gave good references”
“All people started saying it was evil eye and fear, so we took her to the healer.”
“And they started telling her stuff like she was going to get scared and things like that. They told her that they were going to kill her and suggested a witchdoctor to perform some sort of a ritual with grass and stuff”
“Well, honestly, they told me that he had got the eye, and frankly I don’t believe in that stuff because I had my older sons and none of them got that, so I said that doesn’t exist.”
Clinical encounters“They told us he had cancer”
“They didn’t want to give her anything because they didn’t know what was wrong with her”
“Leukemia she said; she doesn’t say cancer”
“I took him to a doctor who practices natural medicine, they gave me medicine but the thing he had in his leg didn’t disappear”
“There the doctor in shift told me that he suspected leukemia, but he could not do anything there unless I paid the tests in a private lab.”
“We thought if he’s going to die, we better take him home and avoid the needles and everything here. We talked to the doctor and she said no, you must trust medicine and have hope.”
  • UNOP, Unidad Nacional de Oncología Pediátrica.