Undocumented Women With Breast Cancer Face Barriers to Treatment
Undocumented women are more likely to forego breast cancer treatment because of the costs involved with their care, says Mollie Williams, director of community health programs for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "It is likely for these women to fall through the cracks."
Undocumented women with breast cancer in Arizona have to rely on community clinics and sliding scale fees to get services. Help is not easy to find. When it does arrive, economic barriers and fear of deportation often stand in the way or delay treatment.
Nationally this population faces an uphill battle navigating the health care system. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 6 in 10 Latinos who are undocumented immigrants lack health insurance.
Latina women are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage of breast cancer and have a higher mortality rate than white women, according to the American Cancer Society.