Study Examines Potential Causes Behind Late Breast Cancer Diagnoses Among Hispanic Women
Language and cultural barriers, as well as lack of access to routine medical care and lifestyle choices, could be affecting the timing of breast cancer diagnoses and treatment among Hispanic women, according to a study presented on Wednesday at the Science of Cancer Health Disparities conference in Arizona, CNN reports. According to CNN, while Hispanic women have a lower prevalence of breast cancer than white, black and Asian women, they are more likely to have a worse prognosis because of delayed treatment.
For the study, researchers from the University of Arizona examined 230 Mexican-American breast cancer patients in Arizona and Texas. They found that about half of the women had noticed changes in their breasts but waited more than one month to seek medical attention. In addition, about two-thirds of the breast cancer cases were found through self-detection, which suggests that many of the women were not receiving routine health screening, CNN reports.
Rachel Zenuk, a graduate student at the university, said other reasons women cited for delaying medical care included difficulty making an appointment with a doctor and fear of the test results. One-third of the women said they were uninsured or unable to afford care, she said. Other women did not feel it was important to tell a medical professional about changes in their breasts, according to Zenuk (Park, CNN, 2/4).