Factors that influence mammography use and breast cancer detection among Mexican-American and African-American women

Rachel Zenuk Garcia, Scott C. Carvajal, Anna V. Wilkinson, Patricia A. Thompson, Jesse N. Nodora, Ian K. Komenaka, Abenaa Brewster, Giovanna I. Cruz, Betsy C. Wertheim, Melissa L. Bondy, María Elena Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined factors that influence mammography use and breast cancer detection, including education, health insurance, and acculturation, among Mexican-American (MA) and African-American (AA) women. Methods: The study included 670 breast cancer cases (388 MAs and 282 AAs), aged 40-86 years at diagnosis. Data on mammography use, detection, and delay in seeking care were collected via questionnaires and medical records. Using a language-based bidimensional acculturation measure, MAs were classified as English-dominant (n = 67), bilingual (n = 173), and Spanish-dominant (n = 148). Mammography prior to diagnosis was assessed by racial/ethnic acculturation subgroup using logistic regression. Results: In age-adjusted models, mammography use was non-significantly lower among English-dominant (OR = 0.84; 95% CI: 0.45-1.59) and bilingual (OR = 0.86; 95% CI: 0.55-1.35) MAs and significantly lower among Spanish-dominant MAs (OR = 0.53; 95% CI: 0.34-0.83) than among AA women. After adjustment for education or insurance, there was no difference in mammography use by race/ethnicity and acculturation subgroup. Despite high self-reported mammography use (75%), a large proportion of cases reported self-detection (59%) and delay in seeking care >90 days (17%). Conclusions: These findings favor promoting culturally appropriate messaging about the benefits and limitations of mammography, education about breast awareness, and prompt reporting of findings to a health professional.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Acculturation
  • African-American
  • Mammography
  • Mexican-American
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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