Breast-Health Screening Perceptions of Chinese Canadian Immigrant Women Aged 30 to 69


The global prevalence of breast cancer in the 21st century continues to increase although mortality rates could be reduced by early detection and treatment.  While the incidence of cancer, stages of diagnosis, and survival rates vary among different ethnic groups, early detection through breast-health screening and prompt treatment are effective in reducing mortality rates.  The purpose of this case study was to explore and describe the perceptions of breast-health screening among Chinese Canadian immigrant women and barriers that prevented them from having breast-health screening.  A purposeful sample of 27 women aged 30 to 69 who had migrated from China, resided in Canada for 5 years, and had no history of breast cancer was recruited.  Semi-structured interviews and two focus groups provided information about participants’ breast-health screening experiences.  Although participants were cognizant of the ramifications of breast cancer and benefits of screening, they were reluctant to utilize clinical opportunities for early detection.  Findings suggested that Chinese cultural beliefs and practices contribute to low participation in breast-health screening can represent opportunities for health care professionals to proactively educate communities on the benefits of preventive health and recommend breast-health screening.  Potential strategies to promote breast-health screening include culturally sensitive linguistic educational programs, physician recommendations or referrals to breast-health screening as a standard process for annual medical visits, expanded operating hours for screening clinics, and community-based outreach initiatives.  Findings from this study may provide policymakers, health care leaders, public health officials, and health educators evidence-based information for developing policies, guidelines, and educational programs to help new immigrant women access preventive health services such as breast-health screening program.  Future research on a broader demographic group may yield additional insights on strategies to optimize early detection of breast cancer.

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Dr. Fung Kuen Heidi Sin, Dr. Louise Underdahl, Dr. Christine Enslin
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
The Exchange
Volume 3
Issue 1
Date Published: 
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Publication Language: 
ISBN Number: 

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