"Differences in use of breast-saving surgery among foreign-born Asian American and Pacific Island women and non-Hispanic white women have persisted, despite the fact that in 1990 the National Cancer Institute recommended breast-conserving surgery as first-line treatment for early-stage breast cancer," said Mita Sanghavi Goel, M.D., a researcher in general internal medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the study.
Breast cancer incidence and death appear to be rising among Asian American and Pacific Island women, the fastest growing minority group in the United States, underscoring the importance of studying patterns of breast cancer care in this population, Goel said.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are disproportionately foreign-born compared to non-Hispanic white Americans. Moreover, foreign-born individuals are at risk for receiving poorer quality of care due to lower use of preventive services, lack of a regular source of health care, lower rates of insurance coverage and cultural factors such as low English proficiency and lack of acculturation, Goel said.
Previous studies have found that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who are foreign-born are less likely to receive cancer screening and hospice care than Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who were born in the United States.
Goel and colleagues from Harvard Medical School and the University of California Irvine College of Medicine believe that foreign birthplace may explain previously described disparities in breast-conserving surgery use between white and Asian American and Pacific Island women as well as among various Asian American and Pacific Island ethnic groups.
Contact: Elizabeth Crown