Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers: Cancer Risks, Barriers to Care, and Ways to Overcome Them

Candace Kugel

Claire H. Seda

migrant and seasonal farmworkers, healthcare access, disparities, cancer risk
CJON 2021, 25(2), 219-222. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.219-222

Migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs) encounter numerous and overlapping barriers to healthcare access, including economic, cultural, linguistic, and logistic factors, all of which may contribute to disparities in cancer outcomes. For many MSFWs and their families, healthcare access and continuity are further eroded by their mobility. In addition, MSFWs experience occupational exposures that increase their risk of cancer.


  • There are an estimated 2.4 million MSFWs working in the United States, about 75% of whom are immigrants and 83% of whom identify as Latinx/Hispanic; unlike non-Hispanic White individuals, cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanic individuals.
  • Various occupational factors may contribute to cancer risk for MSFWs.
  • Targeted service delivery strategies can be successful in overcoming barriers to care for farmworkers.
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