Breast cancer is one of the top two cancer killers of women of all races and ethnicities in the U.S. And Korean-American women are no exception to the dangers of Breast Cancer. We came across this very alarming insight about Korean-American women and breast cancer from Medical News Today: breast cancer in Korean-American women is on the rise and therefore, Korean-American women need to be more aggressive about preventive tests. Korean women are very sacrificial and are always concerned for others, but they need to look out for their own health. If you have children and you’re busy, take a time out and go to your regular check-up. And if you’re mother hasn’t been to the doctor in a while, why not schedule a check-up and drive her yourself.
Reaching Out to Improve Breast Cancer Awareness, Engagement Regular screening mammograms as recommended by the American Cancer Society are known to be effective in reducing breast cancer deaths, but many women don’t get screened regularly or at all, particularly Asian American women. They are among the least likely to get a mammogram compared to women of all other racial and ethnic groups. JHUSON associate professor Haera Han, PhD, RN, and nursing doctoral candidate JingJing Shang, MSN, RN, OCN, are working to change those statistics. Both are pushing back against growing rates of breast cancer among Korean American and Chinese American women and breaking new ground in community-based, participatory research to identify and overcome barriers to breast cancer screening for these women.
Han’s research has disclosed that the Korean American community does not widely use preventive health services like mammograms. One-third of women in her study had never heard of a mammogram. The reasons: cultural beliefs that emphasize urgent care, not preventive care; fatalism; limited English; a dauntingly complex health care system; and a lack of health insurance. Han notes, “With long work days without weekend or holiday breaks, a lack of health insurance, and limited English skills, mammograms simply aren’t a high priority.” To help change that equation, her National Institutes of Health-supported work is developing and testing tailored health messages to help Korean American women understand the benefits of breast cancer screening. Han says, “Our message, based in the traditional Korean role of the woman as a family’s center, is simple: ‘Take care of yourself; if your health suffers, your family suffers, too’. And women are starting to hear and heed the message.” Her broader goal is to build health literacy skills that can give Korean American women the skills needed to negotiate the health system, to communicate with their health care providers, and to understand that prevention and screening work.
Source: Medical News Today