Breast Cancer Screening Needs to Improve Among Foreign Born Women in the US

Though mammography rates have increased among foreign-born women residing in the United States, these women are still less likely to have undergone breast cancer screening than native-born U.S. women, results of a study showed.

These study results were presented at the Fourth AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities, held Sept. 18-21, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University believe that lack of access to health insurance and a regular source of health care are important factors related to the lower percentage of mammography screening among U.S. immigrants.

“There is progress, overall, in use of mammography among foreign-born women in the United States, but there is still a lot of work to do to improve their use of recommended breast cancer screening,” said the study’s lead researcher Nengliang (Aaron) Yao, a doctoral student in health policy and administration.

Yao and colleagues used data from the 2000 and 2008 National Health Interview Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, to look at mammography screening among immigrants and factors associated with use. Information on immigrants’ legal status was not included in the survey.

Screening rates among immigrants increased from about 60.2 percent in 2000 to 65.5 percent in 2008, and disparities in the use of mammography between immigrants and native women narrowed from 11.2 percent in 2000 to 3.4 percent in 2008

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