Hispanic Women's Language Proficiency and Utilization of Cancer Screening Services

Leticia E. Fernandez, University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas at Austin
Alfonso Morales, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Hispanic women with low English-language proficiency make less frequent use of preventive health care, including cancer screening services, compared to English-speaking Hispanic women and to non-Hispanic White women. Previous studies find that lack of health insurance and not having a usual source of care are major barriers to screening for breast and cervical cancer. Along the Texas-Mexico border, health insurance rates are substantially lower than in the rest of the state. However, border residents may have the option of crossing to Mexico for lower-cost health care. In this article we examine the factors associated with utilization of cancer screening services between non-Hispanic White women and Spanish- and English-speaking Hispanic women in Texas counties. Preliminary findings indicate that Spanish-speaking Hispanic women in border counties are more likely to have a usual source of care, as likely to have a Pap smear, but less likely to have had a clinical breast exam compared to non-border counterparts.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology