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Hispanic Women, Breast Cancer Screening and Preferences for Breast Health Information:
Unformatted Document Text:  Breast Cancer Screening 4 influencing breast health practices of Hispanic women. Since the Hispanic culture is typically characterized as collectivistic this finding is not too surprising. Collectivistic culture is one in which group affiliation receives precedence over individual goals; furthermore, the group is seen as the most important component of social entities. Collectivist cultures give precedence to the good of the community group (e.g., immediate/extended family) and orient themselves within this network (Triandis, 1995). In fact, strategies utilizing “lay health advisors” (e.g., promatoras/health promoters, consejeras/health advisors) and social networks have been implemented in an effort to incorporate the group-orientation of Hispanic women into breast cancer health promotion (Brownstein, Cheal, Ackermann, Bassford, & Campos-Outcalt, 1992; Gotay & Wilson, 1998; Suarez, Lloyd, Weiss, Rainbolt, & Pulley, 1994; Suarez et al., 2000). However, it is stereotypical to assume that all Hispanic women are collectivistic and thus use the same screening behaviors and preference for receiving information. A more complex approach for understanding breast cancer screening is to investigate why these women choose not to screen. Borrayo and Jenkins (2001a, 2001b) conducted five focus group interviews with 34 women total of Mexican descent in Dallas about breast cancer resistance. The women reported two predominant reasons for not screening for breast cancer. First, women reported that their cultural values encourage them to respect dignity and modesty. They feel indecent when having to either do to self-examinations or have a doctor complete an examination (clinical or mammography). Second, the women noted that when they feel healthy, there is no reason to screen for cancer. Their studies helped to illustrate reasons behind choices, but stopped short in providing a complete description at two levels. First, they do not examine why some women choose to utilize screening methods. Second, they do not look at a variety of explanations for screening behavior. Our purpose is to fill in this gap by examining complex ways that culture

Authors: DeVargas, Felicia., Sanchez, Christina. and Oetzel, John.
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Breast Cancer Screening 4
influencing breast health practices of Hispanic women. Since the Hispanic culture is typically
characterized as collectivistic this finding is not too surprising. Collectivistic culture is one in
which group affiliation receives precedence over individual goals; furthermore, the group is seen
as the most important component of social entities. Collectivist cultures give precedence to the
good of the community group (e.g., immediate/extended family) and orient themselves within
this network (Triandis, 1995). In fact, strategies utilizing “lay health advisors” (e.g.,
promatoras/health promoters, consejeras/health advisors) and social networks have been
implemented in an effort to incorporate the group-orientation of Hispanic women into breast
cancer health promotion (Brownstein, Cheal, Ackermann, Bassford, & Campos-Outcalt, 1992;
Gotay & Wilson, 1998; Suarez, Lloyd, Weiss, Rainbolt, & Pulley, 1994; Suarez et al., 2000).
However, it is stereotypical to assume that all Hispanic women are collectivistic and thus
use the same screening behaviors and preference for receiving information. A more complex
approach for understanding breast cancer screening is to investigate why these women choose
not to screen. Borrayo and Jenkins (2001a, 2001b) conducted five focus group interviews with
34 women total of Mexican descent in Dallas about breast cancer resistance. The women
reported two predominant reasons for not screening for breast cancer. First, women reported that
their cultural values encourage them to respect dignity and modesty. They feel indecent when
having to either do to self-examinations or have a doctor complete an examination (clinical or
mammography). Second, the women noted that when they feel healthy, there is no reason to
screen for cancer. Their studies helped to illustrate reasons behind choices, but stopped short in
providing a complete description at two levels. First, they do not examine why some women
choose to utilize screening methods. Second, they do not look at a variety of explanations for
screening behavior. Our purpose is to fill in this gap by examining complex ways that culture


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