Policy implications of early onset breast cancer among Mexican-origin women

Patricia Y. Miranda, Anna V. Wilkinson, Carol J. Etzel, Renke Zhou, Lovell A. Jones, Patricia Thompson, Melissa L. Bondy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Overall, Latinas are more likely to be diagnosed with a more advanced stage of breast cancer and are 20% more likely to die of breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women. It is estimated that from 2003 to 2006, $82.0 billion in direct medical care expenditures, in addition to 100,000 lives annually, could be saved by eliminating health disparities experienced by Latinos and increasing the use of up to 5 preventive services in the United States. An additional 3700 lives could be saved if 90% of women aged ≤40 years were recently screened for breast cancer. Methods: The authors examined the risk for breast cancer in a case-control, population-based sample of Mexican-origin women in Harris County, Texas (n = 714), where the rates of breast cancer mortality for Latina women have doubled since 1990. Results: Half of breast cancer cases (n = 119) were diagnosed in women aged <50 years. In a multivariate model, women who had a family history of breast cancer (odds ratio [OR], 4.3), who were born in Mexico and had high levels of language acculturation (OR, 2.5), and who did not have health insurance (OR, 1.6) had the highest risk for breast cancer. Conclusions: Because the current results indicated that Mexican-origin women are at high-risk for early onset, premenopausal breast cancer, the authors recommended policies that target screening, education, and treatment to prevent increased disparities in mortality. The authors concluded that the inclusion of community members and policymakers as partners in these endeavors would further safeguard against an increase in cancer health disparities and aid in formulating a policy agenda congruent with scientifically based, community-driven policy efforts that address breast cancer screening, education, and treatment in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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