Date of Conferral





Health Services


Kourtney Nieves


Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinas women. Several barriers persist when accessing health care and utilization of healthcare services such as annual mammograms, leading to a late stage diagnosis or death related to breast cancer illness. The purpose of this study was to examine disparities in breast cancer experiences within Latina communities in the United States. The Health Belief Model served as the foundation of this qualitative grounded theory study. The research questions explored; access to breast care services that encourage early breast cancer detection; breast care diagnostics such as exams, mammograms and biopsies; and views of availability to breast care exams, diagnostics and treatment options improving health outcomes. The participants were females who self-identified as Hispanic and 19 years of age or older and resided in north east part of the United States. Participants must have discovered a breast tumor, engaged in the decision-making process to seek biopsy, and had a breast cancer diagnosis. A total of 12 Latina women were recruited for 60 minutes recorded interviews Later, the interviews were transcribed.. Findings of the study showed the participants perceived the disease as serious leading to death; cultural context, insurance status may not have contributed to susceptibility to the disease. This study benefits Latina women, and other vulnerable female populations in the United States diagnosed with breast cancer. The social change implications of the study can influence program initiatives that seek to improve equitable access to care, breast care services and the quality of life. It provides insight to practice approaches regarding access to care, service utilization, and development of program initiatives.