Hispanic Women are Getting less Breast Cancer Screening

October 31, 2017 07:32 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- As breast cancer awareness month wraps up, we're learning that compared to other women, Hispanic women are less likely to get breast cancer screenings.

However, according to the Susan G. Komen website, breast cancer is the most common cancer and the leading cause of death among the group.


Cribilina Franco, who is from Mexico but now lives in Rochester, says she had never had a mammogram until she was forced to go to the doctor.

"It would hurt me a lot. Then I would go to work but I would return and lay down shivering. And I couldn't stand my bra. I would get home and take it off," said Cribilina.

It was in 2013 when she found out she had breast cancer.

According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, in the past two years, 61 percent of Hispanic women 40 years and older have had a mammogram.

That's compared to 69 percent of black and 65 percent white women who have had one.

Cristina Fernandez, with Community Health Service, says many of the Hispanic women have a fear of even just stepping foot inside a doctor's office because of what they may learn.

"A lot of the times, it's cultural. Whereas you know in the Hispanic population, at least I know for sure because I’m Hispanic. That person says you know well if it doesn't hurt then why am I going to go to the doctor. I don't need to go. So they opt out of getting their annual exams," said Cristina.

Cristina says language barriers and fear of losing their job are also key factors.

"Sometimes we don't get checked because we say oh well if I go to the doctor, they're going to charge me too much and if it's not possible for us to pay the cost of the exam then I don't go," said Cribilina. 

But Cristina says that's when consequences arise, “there are all sorts of options that they have once they do get to a facility where they can do the biopsy, they can take out the tumor and they can treat them with radiation. I mean that's definitely better than to have it have advanced and have it spread to other parts of their body."

But even now Cribilina is hesitant to have surgery.

"But they're asking me if I have insurance or something. And I told them, no I don't have insurance. And so who's covering it? The truth is I don't know. And so, I told them not to do that to me. Because I don't know who is covering it and I don't want to have such a big bill," said Cribilina.

Community health service says it is willing to help people with or without insurance.

We have a link to its website under featured links.


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