Addressing disparities in cancer screening among U.S. immigrants: Progress and opportunities

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The United States is home to 47 million foreign-born individuals, which currently represents over 14% of the U.S. population. With greater length of U.S. residence, immigrants experience increased risk for chronic disease including selected cancers; yet, they are less likely to access preventive health care services and undergo cancer screening. As a result, there have been concerted efforts to address disparities in cancer screening in immigrant populations. This minireview describes current progress in promoting participation in cancer screening among U.S. immigrants and explores potential opportunities for improving impact. Of the 42 studies included in the review, the majority targeted Asian and Latino immigrant populations and included some form of culturally specific educational programming, often delivered in-person by community health workers and/or using a multimedia format. Twenty-eight of the 42 studies also offered navigation assistance to help overcome logistical and access barriers to care, and these studies yielded somewhat greater increases in screening. Yet, despite considerable effort over the past 20+years, screening rates remain well below national goals. Opportunities to harness digital health tools to increase awareness and engagement, evaluating nonclinic-based screening paradigms to promote greater participation, and increasing efforts to address the needs of other immigrant subgroups are likely to have beneficial outcomes. Together, these strategies may help reduce inequities in access and uptake of cancer screening in U.S. immigrant populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Asian/psychology
  • Early Detection of Cancer/psychology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants/psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion/organization & administration
  • Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data
  • Hispanic or Latino/psychology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Patient Education as Topic/organization & administration
  • Patient Participation/psychology
  • Preventive Health Services/organization & administration
  • United States


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