Breast cancer detection among older Latinas: Is it worth the risk?

Evelinn A. Borrayo, Lydia P. Buki, Benjamin M. Feigal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Fifty-eight Latinas participated in focus group interviews to assess their perceptions about screening to detect breast cancer (BC). Grounded theory methods helped uncover a cultural explanatory model that explained how cultural and psychosocial dynamics influence BC screening decisions. According to this model, Latinas generally perceived BC screening as a risky behavior. Three themes emerged that influenced the amount and type of perceived risks: feeling healthy (i.e., perceptions about the etiology of the illness and its nature), feeling indecent (i.e., the behaviors involved in screening), and feeling threatened (i.e., the anticipated consequences of BC detection). Screening was perceived as risky because of many personal and interpersonal consequences associated with detecting BC. Latinas' subjective assessment that detecting BC is too risky might influence their participation in screening procedures. Health education programs should aim at helping Latinas perceive that the early detection of BC is a life-saving benefit that outweighs its perceived risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1263
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Early detection
  • Health beliefs
  • Hispanics
  • Qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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