Background: Patients with cancer have unique health literacy needs that affect health outcomes. In regard to breast cancer, Black women are more commonly diagnosed with high-grade breast tumors and have increased mortality rates.
Objectives: This review examines the role of health literacy and discusses health disparities that affect cancer health literacy and health behaviors in Black women with breast cancer.
Methods: A literature search was conducted using CINAHL®, PubMed®, Ovid®, and Google Scholar™. A total of 12 studies were identified and included in the final review.
Findings: Women with breast cancer in racial minority groups are less likely to report knowing or answering questions correctly for multiple tumor characteristics, have a lower quality of life related to low health literacy levels, and are at an increased risk for inadequate health literacy because of socioeconomic inequities. Unmet health literacy needs can potentially to lead to poor self-management, poor medication adherence, increased hospitalizations, negative perceptions of health, and compromised quality of life.