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This study examines cultural issues surrounding family cancer communication in Appalachia, providing insight into participants’ communication choices regarding their illness within their families. Stories of 29 female Appalachian cancer survivors from Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia were collected via a mixed methods approach in either a day-long story circle (N=26) or an in-depth interview (N=3). Qualitative content analysis was used to identify unique barriers to family cancer communication in Appalachia. Two barriers emerged: 1) the health of other family members and 2) cancer in a “taboo” area. These findings suggest that Appalachian female cancer survivors struggle with similar issues as survivors outside of the region regarding family cancer communication. However, there appear to be additional barriers to family cancer communication for Appalachian women that may be a result of cultural norms of the region.

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© 2012 International Academy of Business Disciplines. This document was published with permission from the publisher. It was originally published in the Business Research Yearbook.