Does a bite cause cancer misperceptions of breast cancer etiology among low-income urban women in miami, florida

Erin N. Marcus, Darlene K. Drummond, Noella Dietz, Sonjia Kenya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To explore breast cancer beliefs among a cohort of low-income, urban, English-speaking women in Miami, Florida, who had undergone screening mammography. METHODS: Four focus groups of 34 women were conducted. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and transcripts were analyzed separately by two investigators using an immersion-and-crystallization approach. Common risk factors were identified by consensus. RESULTS: Participants were predominantly African American (82%) women of low income (77% with a household income <$20,000/year). Common risk factors included family history, environmental factors, trauma, and sexual activity. There also was a perception that breast cancer grows rapidly and causes detectable symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Women voiced some accurate and numerous inaccurate beliefs regarding the causes of breast cancer, suggesting a lack of knowledge about the potential benefits and harms of screening mammography before undergoing examination. These findings highlight the importance of identifying women's underlying beliefs when initiating a discussion of breast cancer screening and prevention to ensure that messages are mutually understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-654
Number of pages6
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013



  • breast cancer
  • health beliefs
  • health communication
  • mammography
  • shared decision making
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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