Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 165–173 | Cite as

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
Original Paper



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.


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.


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%).


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.


Mammography Screening Acculturation Mexican-American African-American 



This work was supported by the Avon Foundation, a supplement to the Arizona Cancer Center Core Grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA-023074-2953), a supplement to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Breast Cancer (P50 CA116199-02S1), and a grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure® (KG090934).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Zenuk Garcia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Scott C. Carvajal
    • 1
  • Anna V. Wilkinson
    • 8
  • Patricia A. Thompson
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jesse N. Nodora
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ian K. Komenaka
    • 7
  • Abenaa Brewster
    • 6
  • Giovanna I. Cruz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Betsy C. Wertheim
    • 2
  • Melissa L. Bondy
    • 6
  • María Elena Martínez
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public HealthUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Arizona Cancer CenterUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology and AnatomyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family & Community MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  5. 5.College of MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  6. 6.University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  7. 7.Maricopa Medical CenterPhoenixUSA
  8. 8.The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public HealthAustinUSA

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