Fatema Boxwala

Breast Cancer Screening Knowledge and Practices among South Asian Indian Women

BACKGROUND: In order to fulfill the Healthy People 2010 objectives of reducing the breast cancer death rate (3-3) and increasing the proportion of women aged 40 years and older who have received a mammogram within the preceding two years (3-13), it is compulsory to research less-served minority groups. Aging South Asian Indian immigrant women are a section of the population at-risk of breast cancer since breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers among Indian women living in India. 

Research conducted in the United Kingdom and Canada found low screening rates among South Asian Indian women1. A recent study in Southern California found greater adherence to screening guidelines among South Asian Indian women than previously reported2. The difference in findings suggests the need for further research and this study will be beneficial in furthering that goal.

AIMS: The intent of the proposed research study is to better understand the socio-cultural and cognitive factors related to breast cancer screening among South Asian Indian women in the metro Detroit area.

METHODS: There is wide variation within migrant Indian populations in the U.S., in terms of religious geographical backgrounds. Each region has its particular cultural practices with relation to language, diet, health beliefs, and gender norms as well as differing environments and levels of development. These background factors may influence women's breast cancer screening knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Thus, a primary focus of the study is collecting a representative sample of the Indian population in metro Detroit. Data collection sites include predominantly Indian places of worship, community health fairs, and other community events.
The quantitative component of the study comprises a breast cancer screening survey with five sections: breast cancer screening practices/knowledge, breast cancer screening attitudes, family history of breast cancer, social support, and demographic information.
The qualitative component of the study will consist of three focus groups. The purpose of the focus group is to better understand attitudes and cultural beliefs that influence breast cancer screening and clarify commonalities and variations in survey responses.

Factors Associated with Breast Cancer Screening in Asian Indian Women in Metro-Detroit