Between 1988 and 2000, only 24 percent of cancers diagnosed in California's Hmong were detected at an early stage. Nasopharyngeal cancer was diagnosed early in only 3 percent of cases, stomach cancer in only 10 percent of cases and liver cancer in only 15 percent.
More than a third of the nation's 169,000 Hmong -- 65,000 -- live in California. The U.S. State Department last year granted permission for another 15,000 Hmong to enter the country from Thailand. About half of these newest immigrants are also expected to settle in California.
"The Hmong are a unique people with unique health challenges," says Moon S. Chen, Jr., professor of public health sciences at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center. Chen is principal investigator of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (AANCART), an $8.5 million project funded by the National Cancer Institute and headquartered at UC Davis.
"Until now we have had very little information about cancer rates and risks in the Hmong," Chen said. "This study points to the need for increased cancer education, awareness and screening among the Hmong both in California and nationally to help them confront cancer, one of their biggest health threats."
To determine cancer rates in the Hmong, researchers combed the California Cancer Registry for cancer cases di
Contact: Claudia Morain
University of California, Davis - Health System