Latina and Black/African American Women’s Perspectives on Cancer Screening and Cancer Screening Reminders

  • Susan Brandzel
  • Eva Chang
  • Leah Tuzzio
  • Camille Campbell
  • Nora Coronado
  • Erin J. Aiello Bowles
  • Susan Carol Bradford
  • Diana S. M. Buist



Racial and ethnic disparities continue to exist in cancer screening rates, especially among US Latina and Black/African American populations. We conducted six focus groups among 41 women from these communities in order to better understand their preferences about cancer screening reminders and the motivators and deterrents they face in obtaining recommended breast, cervical, and colon cancer screening.


Using self-reported patient race/ethnicity from electronic medical records of a large, integrated health care system in Seattle, we recruited women ages 30–60 to participate in one of five 2-hour focus groups. Using verbatim transcripts from these discussions, we conducted a qualitative analysis to identify common themes.


The focus group participants were primarily strong endorsers and utilizers of recommended breast, cervical, and colon cancer screening services. Insurance and belief in preventive care were the most common motivators that they cited in obtaining cancer screening. However, they still reported multiple barriers to getting recommended cancer screening for themselves and community members, including lack of time, conflicting information about screening intervals, distrust in the health care system, and a lack of understanding of the benefits of preventive care.


Efforts to improve understanding about the benefits of cancer screening, clarify cancer screening guideline recommendations, increase cultural competency among health care professionals, and expand the times and locations where cancer screening is available are all options that may improve cancer screening rates among Latinas and Black/African American women.


Cancer screening Reminders Latina Black/African American Disparities 


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Brandzel
    • 1
  • Eva Chang
    • 2
  • Leah Tuzzio
    • 1
  • Camille Campbell
    • 3
  • Nora Coronado
    • 4
  • Erin J. Aiello Bowles
    • 1
  • Susan Carol Bradford
    • 5
  • Diana S. M. Buist
    • 1
  1. 1.Group Health Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  2. 2.RTI InternationalWalthamUSA
  3. 3.Swedish Cancer InstituteSeattleUSA
  4. 4.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Group Health Cooperative, Department of Clinical Improvement and PreventionSeattleUSA

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