Mexican Immigrant Male Knowledge and Support Toward Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening

  • Heike Thiel de Bocanegra
  • Chau Trinh-Shevrin
  • Angelica P. Herrera
  • Francesca Gany
Original Paper


Background We conducted a focus group study to assess the influence of partner communication on breast and cervical cancer screening and the perceived existing and potential support from male partners in participating in cancer screening. Secondarily, Mexican male and female views on health care and cancer were explored. Methods Seven focus groups (two female-only, three male-only, and two couples) were conducted in Spanish. Results Findings suggest that knowledge about cervical cancer was significantly less than knowledge about breast cancer among both men and women. Barriers to cancer screening included language barriers, lack of health insurance, and lack of awareness of the need for screening. Male partners expressed willingness to support their female partners in cancer screening activities. Conclusion Cervical cancer education is desperately needed, including education on the availability of free and low cost screening services. Education efforts should include the male community members, especially as the males perceive themselves as responsible for the financial burden of care.


Cervical cancer Breast cancer Screening Mexican-American Male involvement Access to care 



This study was funded by NIH/NCI Grant # UO1 CA86286. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Javier Gonzalez and Monica Cebrian, who facilitated the focus groups, and translated the transcripts, and the tireless efforts of Associacion Tepeyac de New York, YWCA/Encore Plus and Project Reach Youth, who recruited the focus group participants, aided by the efforts of Amarilis Cespedes, and Jaquelina Ramos-Calderon. We also want to acknowledge Karen Carapetayan, NYU High Risk Cancer Clinic, for her contribution in recruiting focus group participants and formulating the focus group outline. We are extremely indebted to Rhodora Ursua, who provided valuable insight during the data analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heike Thiel de Bocanegra
    • 1
  • Chau Trinh-Shevrin
    • 2
  • Angelica P. Herrera
    • 3
  • Francesca Gany
    • 3
  1. 1.Bixby Center for Global Health, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive SciencesUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Center for the Study of Asian American HealthNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Center for Immigrant HealthNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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