Background: We conducted a cross sectional assessment in collaboration with the Navajo Nation Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program(NNBCCPP) to determine the barriers to seeking screening for breast cancer by Navajo women. While there is abundant anecdotal information about the barriers to breast cancer screening procedures among Navajo women, there are no recent published studies. Methods: A cross-sectional survey questionnaire to assess and document barriers to breast cancer screening among Navajo women was developed in collaboration with NNBCCPP staff. The survey was designed to portray logistical and personal barriers to breast cancer screening. The primary participants of this project were Navajo women (40-64yrs) who have never or rarely been screened for breast cancer. After randomly selecting and personally contacting, the NNBCCPP staff women interviewed 18 participants using the questionnaire. IRB approval from the University of Arizona Human subject’s board as well as from the Navajo Nation Human Research Review Board and the Chinle agency council was obtained prior to initiation of the study. Results: The survey was well received and participants showed interest. The main reason for never getting screening was lack of Physician’s mention/referral. Participants showed interest in learning and want to know more about breast cancer. 70% would prefer receiving cancer education at an Indian Health Service clinic. Only 33% thought that talking about cancer might cause it. Other selected results are showed below. Conclusion: The never screened women had more barriers (logistical and personal) to breast cancer screening than rarely screened women. This project will initiate information specific to traditional and contemporary breast cancer screening barriers issues from the Navajo women. The results of this project will aid NNBCCPP in its program evaluation and in the development of more effective cancer education and prevention program activities.

[Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res, Volume 47, 2006]