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J Immigr Minor Health. 2007 Oct;9(4):323-34.

Cervical cancer screening by immigrant and minority women in Canada.

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Department of Economics, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada.


Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer and the Pap smear test is one of the most widely accessible forms of cancer screening. An important public health issue is the extent to which Canadian women are engaging in regular screening for cervical cancer, particularly potentially at-risk groups such as recent immigrants and women from minority ethnic backgrounds. We use recent population health surveys to analyze immigrant and native-born women's use of Pap smear testing, with a focus on how screening rates differ by ethnic background and characteristics of immigration. We find that almost all recent immigrant women have markedly lower use of Pap smear testing than comparable Canadian-born women, but these rates slowly increase with years in Canada. However, we find wide variation in rates of screening by ethnic background. Screening rates for White immigrant women from countries where the official language is neither English nor French approach Canadian-born women's utilization rates after 15-20 years in Canada, as do the screening rates of Black and Hispanic women. Screening rates for those from Asian backgrounds remain significantly below native-born Canadian levels even after many years in Canada. As well, immigrant women of Asian background who arrived as children and second-generation Asian Canadians both exhibit significantly lower rates of Pap smear testing than Canadian-born White women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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