Unemployment and the Likelihood of Detecting Early-Stage Breast Cancer

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ObjectivesThe objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that unexpectedly high unemployment in a community is associated with reduced odds that registered breast tumors are local.MethodsThe hypothesis was tested with data from San Francisco for the 132 months beginning with January 1983.ResultsRegistered breast tumors were less likely to be local during periods of unexpectedly high unemployment (8% less likely among non-Hispanic White women and 24% less likely among African-American women).ConclusionsJob loss may restrict access to health services. Fear of job loss may also distract women from breast self-examination and the identification of suspicious breast signs. (Am J Public Health. 1998;88:586-589)

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