Ezinne Ndukwe

Evaluating the cancer education and screening practices of female African Immigrants

African-American women in the United States experience the highest rates of mortality from breast cancer, as well as a higher percentage of late-stage diagnoses of breast cancer, when compared to women of other racial and ethnic groups. Moreover, African-American women also have the second highest prevalence of cervical cancer. Several differences exist between the cancer screening practices of American women, and women who immigrated to the US. Unfortunately, many reports evaluating the cancer outcomes of women of African descent, categorize African born immigrants to the US along with American born blacks. Previous literature however, suggests that this categorization ignores the subtle yet important cultural differences between the two groups, which in turn have widespread effects on the breast and cervical cancer screening practices seen in women of African descent. This study aims to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, perceived barriers and frequency of breast and cervical cancer screening practices among African immigrant women. Furthermore, the study aims to determine the effect of certain population characteristics on this knowledge. Information to this regard is critical in reducing the prevalence of breast and cervical cancer among female immigrants to the US of African descent.

This project will be completed in conjunction with the African Women’s Cancer Awareness Association, an established organization with strong ties to the substantial African immigrant population in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Data will be collected through focus group sessions, key informant interviews and a brief questionnaire. Questions will be aimed to assess cultural factors, spiritual beliefs, familial influences and other elements that may play a role in the quality of health care obtained.

Ndukwe EG, Williams KP, Sheppard V. Knowledge and Perspectives of Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Among Female African Immigrants in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. J Cancer Educ. 2013 Aug 1. [Epub ahead of print]

About Ezinne
Ezinne Ndukwe is from Columbus, Ohio and graduated in 2010 from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Science-Business. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, she worked as a research assistant at Ohio State University in the department of Nephrology. Ezinne graduated from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2013 with a M.P.H in Health Behavior and Health Education.