Breast Cancer Screening Disparity among Korean American Immigrant Women in Midwest

Document Type : Research Articles


1 School of Social Work University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN, United States.

2 School of Social Work, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, United States.

3 Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN, United States.

4 School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN, United States.


Purpose: Using three breast cancer screening methods such as mammogram, Clinical Breast Examination (CBE), and Breast Self-Examination (BSE), this study investigated breast cancer screening rates and its associated factors in Korean American immigrant women. Method: Cross-sectional data were obtained from 168 Korean immigrant women aged 40 and older in Midwest. The Andersen’s Behavioral Model (1995) theoretically guided this study and logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with screening receipt and performance. Results: Study participants reported low screening rates, specifically mammography and CBE uptake. About 71% of the women had a mammography at least once in their lifetime, while about 36% indicating receipt of a mammogram in the last three years. About 59% of the women received a CBE at least once in their lifetime, while about 32% had CBE in the past three years. About 74% of study participants have performed BSE at least once in their life time, while about 69% have done it in the past three years. Knowledge of screening method was consistently correlated with participant’s three breast cancer screening uptake. Additional factors that were positively associated with screening included older age, low barriers to mammograms, and lower educational attainment. Conclusions: Overall, study participants reported low rates of breast cancer screening receipt and performance. It is required to promote screening uptake among Korean immigrant women, especially women with young age, a lower level of education, and lack of health accessibility. A community-based language-appropriate health education program should be developed to increase health care access.


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