Breast and cervical cancer screening utilization among Hispanic women living near the United States-Mexico border

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 May;20(5):685-93. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2205. Epub 2011 Mar 23.


Objective: Hispanic women who reside in low-resource settings are especially at risk for nonparticipation in cancer screening programs. The purpose of this study was to assess characteristics that influence breast and cervical cancer screening among older Hispanic women living along the United States-Mexico border.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of women aged ≥50 years (n = 504) residing in Yuma County, Arizona, were randomly selected for interviews. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify determinants of compliance with mammography and Pap smear use.

Results: Women who received a recommendation from a clinician to get both mammography and Pap smears were more likely to receive a mammogram within the past year (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 5.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.0-8.9) compared to women who received no recommendation. Likewise, women who received both recommendations were more likely to receive a Pap smear within the past 3 years (AOR 9.7, 95% CI 4.6-20.7) compared to women who received no recommendation. Other factors, such as current health insurance and a visit with their healthcare provider in the past year, were also associated with getting a mammogram within 1 year or Pap smear within 3 years.

Conclusions: Enabling characteristics were significantly associated with breast and cervical cancer screening use compared to predisposing and need characteristics among older Hispanic women residing near the U.S.-Mexico border. Clinician recommendation of both mammograms and Pap smears and opportunistic clinic visits to medical providers may increase breast and cervical cancer screening coverage and reduce the burden of these two cancers in this high-risk population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arizona
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Mammography / psychology
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Vaginal Smears / psychology
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*