Cancer-related health disparities in women

Am J Public Health. 2003 Feb;93(2):292-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.93.2.292.


Objectives: This article synthesizes information about cancer in 9 populations of minority women: Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, African American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, American Samoan, American Indian, and Alaska Native.

Methods: Cancer registry data, social indicators, government sources, and published articles were searched for information on the background and cancer experience of these 9 racial/ethnic groups.

Results: Approximately 35 million women in these racial/ethnic groups live in the United States, and their numbers are increasing rapidly. Since 1992, incidence rates for major cancer sites have slowed or decreased among these groups, but declines in mortality have not occurred or have been smaller than for Whites. Gaps in early detection have narrowed, but minority women still lag behind Whites. Smoking and obesity remain common in these populations.

Conclusions: More culturally appropriate interventions and research are needed, and these efforts must involve the community and raise the quality of health services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ethnicity / classification
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups / classification
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Neoplasms / classification
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Prejudice
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Women's Health*