Mammography Use

7 Oct
2009

Mammography Use

INTRODUCTION

Although Massachusetts leads other states in overall rates of screening mammography for black and white women, no associated reduction in the gap of breast cancer ( Treating breast cancer) deaths between black and white women has been observed. One explanation for this unexpected concurrence is that the group of women defined as black may contain subpopula-tions that differ in screening behavior, which could account for continued differences in mortality. Sub-populations with a lower education, low income and recent immigration history, such as Haitian women, may have lower screening rates.

Haitians in the United States represent a sizable and growing population, consisting of more than 500,000 documented and 1.2 million undocumented immigrants, according to recent estimates. Reliable data on mammography screening of Haitians living in the United States, however, is not available from large population-based surveys. The dearth of this and other data on Haitians, including reliable and valid health information, exists for a number of reasons. Often, Haitians are classified in studies as “black,” or “African-American.” Moreover, when surveys targeting Haitians are attempted, difficulties owing to factors associated with language, a reluctance to participate due to prior misrepresentation (stigmatization during the early years of the HIV pandemic), immigration history and recent immigration policies are often reported.

There are other reasons to believe that mammography use is low in Haitian populations. In addition to the barriers cited above, some women who originate from rural areas of Haiti may view the role of screening mammography with the health attitudes, beliefs and practices thereof. For these women, breast cancer (Xeloda canadian for both metastatic breast cancer and adjuvant and metastatic colorectal cancer) screening is likely to be an unfamiliar concept, since only Haitian women of the very highest social stratum have access to screening mammography often obtained in the United States. Preliminary literature suggests that Haitian women do not avail themselves of preventive health testing as compared to women from other racial/ethnic groups.

The main goal of our study was to determine whether or not Haitian women utilize mammography at rates similar to women in their communities. We also sought to determine if the predictors of mammography use in this community sample are similar to those already reported in the literature.

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