Place-based structural and social barriers to health care on either side of the United States-Mexico border exist for immigrant women with breast cancer. Evidence suggests that higher breast cancer mortality rates for Latinas are exhibited on the border than in the interior of either country. Interpretive phenomenological approaches have become increasing popular in anthropology over the past quarter century and can effectively be used to foreground health care's entanglements with place. In this article, we employ an intersubjective approach in which the author's personal experience is interwoven to help illustrate and ultimately reduce barriers to breast cancer care, particularly as they are experienced in a borderlands/binational setting. A number of factors contribute to less than optimal care on either side of the border: language barriers, difficulty in accessing insurance coverage, lack of confidence in the medical system, and long waits for care. Modifying current policies to encourage greater communication between health care providers in the borderlands could contribute to reduced wait times, interpreter facilitation, and a reduction of stress for patients.
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Research Article| January 01 2016
Contested Spaces: Crossing the United States-Mexico Border for Breast Cancer Care—Or Not
Human Organization (2016) 75 (2): 141–150.
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Norah Anita Schwartz, Jong-Deuk Baek; Contested Spaces: Crossing the United States-Mexico Border for Breast Cancer Care—Or Not. Human Organization 1 May 2016; 75 (2): 141–150. doi: https://doi.org/10.17730/0018-7259-75.2.141
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