Black women are more likely to be diagnosed at later stages of breast cancer partly due to barriers to timely screening mammography. Programs that use patient navigators–individuals who provide guidance to patients to help overcome various barriers to care–may reduce breast cancer disparities, but a study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, indicates that such programs must consider how minority women’s views on gender and race/ethnicity may affect how they seek help and support for their health needs.
Sage Kim, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health and UI Cancer Center, and her colleagues examined the rates at which women in a randomized clinical trial reported barriers to obtaining a screening mammogram. The trial, called the Patient Navigation in Medically Underserved Areas (PNMUA) study, randomly assigned patients to one of two groups; one group received a patient navigation support intervention and the other group served as a control.
Of the 3,754 women who received the patient navigation intervention, only a small proportion of women (14 percent) identified one or more barriers, which led to additional interactions with navigators who helped overcome barriers. Dr. Kim and her colleagues
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