Research suggests Asian women less likely to receive timely follow-up after abnormal mammogram

June 12, 2017, Wiley

Women with an abnormal mammogram result need follow-up tests to check whether the finding indicates breast cancer, which should be treated at the earliest possible stage. In a recent study, Asian women were less likely to receive appropriate follow-up treatment after an abnormal mammogram compared with White women. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings point to the need to investigate and address barriers to effective cancer prevention in Asian women.

Many population-based studies do not include Asians, and those that do often report them as a single group. To study the relationship between breast screening and outcomes in multiple Asian populations, a team led by Kim Hanh Nguyen, MPH, ScD, and Leah Karliner, MD, MAS, of the University of California, San Francisco examined information from the San Francisco Mammography Registry. Radiology facilities participating in the registry prospectively collect demographic and clinical data from women at the time of breast imaging and at each subsequent imaging visit.

The investigators examined data on 50,970 San Francisco-area women with mammogram results from 2000-2010 that indicated the need for further diagnostic imaging. Among Asian women, Vietnamese and Filipina women had the longest—and Japanese the shortest—median time to follow-up imaging tests (32, 28, and 19 days, respectively) compared with non-Hispanic White women (15 days). The proportion of women receiving follow-up tests at 30 days was lower for Asians than for non-Hispanic Whites (57 percent versus 77 percent), and these disparities persisted at 60 and 90 days for all Asian ethnic groups except Japanese women. Asian also had a higher rate of no follow-up at one year than non-Hispanic Whites (15 percent versus 10 percent), with Filipinas having the highest percentage of no follow-up among Asian ethnic groups (18 percent).

"The reasons for these long delays may be due to linguistic, cultural and other barriers that affect patient-provider communication for disadvantaged Asian groups," said Dr. Nguyen. "More research attention is needed to understand the specific reasons for these differences."

By 2060 the projected number of US residents who will identify as Asian or Asian with another race will reach 48.6 million, or 11.7 percent of the total population. "Rather than being a monolithic group, Asians are, in fact, very diverse in nationalities, language, immigration history, education, and economic background. Recognizing differences among Asians may help clinicians develop better rapport and communication with their Asian patients, which can improve adherence to screening recommendations," said Dr. Nguyen. "The misconception of the model minority suggesting Asians are doing better than other minorities is insensitive to disparities that exist for Asians and undermines the need to address such disparities."

Explore further: Breast cancer on the rise among Asian-Americans

More information: Kim H. Nguyen et al, Disparities in abnormal mammogram follow-up time for Asian women compared with non-Hispanic white women and between Asian ethnic groups, Cancer (2017). DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30756

Related Stories

Breast cancer on the rise among Asian-Americans

April 26, 2017
When Margaret Abe-Koga was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, she was as surprised as anyone.

Higher odds of late breast cancer diagnosis in isolated white communities, researchers say

May 30, 2017
Living in a segregated white community has been associated with higher odds of being diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer, according to a recent study led by a researcher in the School of Public Health at Georgia State ...

Minority women less likely to get breast cancer screening

December 16, 2016
(HealthDay)—Black and Hispanic women are less likely than white women to be screened for breast cancer, a large review finds.

Cancer mortality differs among Asian ethnic groups

October 3, 2016
The growing Asian American population in the United States presents a diverse set of health behaviors and health outcomes, and may benefit from cancer prevention and screening efforts tailored to specific Asian ethnic groups, ...

Superior survival for asian men with prostate cancer

January 25, 2017
(HealthDay)—For men with distant, de novo, metastatic prostate cancer (PCa), Asian ethnicity is associated with superior median overall survival (OS) and PCa-specific mortality (PCSM), according to a study published online ...

Increased risk for breast cancer death among black women greatest during first 3 years postdiagnosis

October 28, 2012
Non-Hispanic black women diagnosed with breast cancer, specifically those with estrogen receptor-positive tumors, are at a significantly increased risk for breast cancer death compared with non-Hispanic white women.

Recommended for you

Study tracks evolutionary transition to destructive cancer

February 23, 2018
Evolution describes how all living forms cope with challenges in their environment, as they struggle to persevere against formidable odds. Mutation and selective pressure—cornerstones of Darwin's theory—are the means ...

Researchers use a molecular Trojan horse to deliver chemotherapeutic drug to cancer cells

February 23, 2018
A research team at the University of California, Riverside has discovered a way for chemotherapy drug paclitaxel to target migrating, or circulating, cancer cells, which are responsible for the development of tumor metastases.

Lab-grown 'mini tumours' could personalise cancer treatment

February 23, 2018
Testing cancer drugs on miniature replicas of a patient's tumour could help doctors tailor treatment, according to new research.

An under-the-radar immune cell shows potential in fight against cancer

February 23, 2018
One of the rarest of immune cells, unknown to scientists a decade ago, might prove to be a potent weapon in stopping cancer from spreading in the body, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Putting black skin cancer to sleep—for good

February 22, 2018
An international research team has succeeded in stopping the growth of malignant melanoma by reactivating a protective mechanism that prevents tumor cells from dividing. The team used chemical agents to block the enzymes ...

Cancer risk associated with key epigenetic changes occurring through normal aging process

February 22, 2018
Some scientists have hypothesized that tumor-promoting changes in cells during cancer development—particularly an epigenetic change involving DNA methylation—arise from rogue cells escaping a natural cell deterioration ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.