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Hispanic Women, Breast Cancer Screening and Preferences for Breast Health Information:
Unformatted Document Text:  Breast Cancer Screening 14 perceived lack of necessity in having gone: “[Doctors just tell you that] everything is fine.” Although they are aware of the importance of maintaining breast health and using screening methods, time demands limit options to see physicians: Many women “work all day…then pick up the kids…take them home…make dinner…do homework and laundry, then go to bed.” The final block prohibited women face is language. These women believe, “If [the doctors] are not going to understand me, why [should I even try],” and that “there is not enough information in Spanish.” It is difficult for prohibited women to go the doctor when they believe that they are not going to understand or be understood. Investigating and seeking out medical assistance is often meaningless to these women because they believe their results will produce information they will not understand. Prohibited women are also constrained. The main constraints these women deal with are various cultural beliefs. Within the Hispanic culture, there are taboos and values that guide women’s actions. These women perceive the Hispanic culture as patriarchal in nature: “The husband is the head of the household and [the needs of women] are less important.” These Hispanic women traditionally prioritize others over self, and prohibited women believe that the good and well-being of the family takes precedence over personal health. These women also agree that the “Hispanic culture is closed about issues [like breast health] and other health concerns. It simply is not talked about.” Because the health issues and concerns are not openly discussed, the concept of modesty or embarrassment becomes a variable. In addition to being blocked and constrained, prohibited women believe they are denied access and availability. They are denied access as a result of not having resources in convenient location to their community. Many women are frustrated since they “have to drive across town” to visit a doctor or receive care. Prohibited women also believe that medical institutions should

Authors: DeVargas, Felicia., Sanchez, Christina. and Oetzel, John.
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Breast Cancer Screening 14
perceived lack of necessity in having gone: “[Doctors just tell you that] everything is fine.”
Although they are aware of the importance of maintaining breast health and using screening
methods, time demands limit options to see physicians: Many women “work all day…then pick
up the kids…take them home…make dinner…do homework and laundry, then go to bed.”
The final block prohibited women face is language. These women believe, “If [the
doctors] are not going to understand me, why [should I even try],” and that “there is not enough
information in Spanish.” It is difficult for prohibited women to go the doctor when they believe
that they are not going to understand or be understood. Investigating and seeking out medical
assistance is often meaningless to these women because they believe their results will produce
information they will not understand.
Prohibited women are also constrained. The main constraints these women deal with are
various cultural beliefs. Within the Hispanic culture, there are taboos and values that guide
women’s actions. These women perceive the Hispanic culture as patriarchal in nature: “The
husband is the head of the household and [the needs of women] are less important.” These
Hispanic women traditionally prioritize others over self, and prohibited women believe that the
good and well-being of the family takes precedence over personal health. These women also
agree that the “Hispanic culture is closed about issues [like breast health] and other health
concerns. It simply is not talked about.” Because the health issues and concerns are not openly
discussed, the concept of modesty or embarrassment becomes a variable.
In addition to being blocked and constrained, prohibited women believe they are denied
access and availability. They are denied access as a result of not having resources in convenient
location to their community. Many women are frustrated since they “have to drive across town”
to visit a doctor or receive care. Prohibited women also believe that medical institutions should


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