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A Cancer Health Needs Assessment Reveals Important Differences Between US-Born and Foreign-Born Latinos in California.



Cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinos, the largest minority population in the United States (US). To address cancer challenges experienced by Latinos, we conducted a catchment area population assessment (CAPA) using validated questions from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) population health assessment supplement at our NCI-designated cancer center in California.


A mixed-methods CAPA was administered by bilingual-bicultural staff, with a focus on understanding the differences between foreign-born and US-born Latinos.


255 Latinos responded to the survey conducted between August 2019 and May 2020. Most respondents were foreign-born (63.9%), female (78.2%), and monolingual Spanish speakers (63.2%). Results showed that compared to US-born Latinos, foreign-born individuals were older, had lower educational attainment, were most likely to be monolingual Spanish speakers, were low-income, and were more likely to be uninsured. Foreign-born Latinos had lower levels of alcohol consumption and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables. The rate of preventive cancer screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer did not differ by birthplace, although a low fraction (35.3%) of foreign-born Latinas who were up-to-date compared to US-born Latinas (83.3%) with colorectal cancer screening was observed. Time since the last routine check-up for all preventable cancers (cervical p=0.0002, breast p=0.0039, and colorectal p=0.0196) is significantly associated with being up to date with cancer screening. Individuals who had a check-up of two or more years ago are 84% less likely to be up to date with pap smears than those who had a check-up within the year (p=0.0060). Individuals without health insurance are 94% less likely to be up to date with mammograms and colonoscopy/FIT tests (p=0.0016 and p=0.0133, respectively) than those who are insured. There is no significant association between screening and nativity.


Considerable differences in socio-economic and environmental determinants of health and colorectal cancer screening rates were observed between US-born and foreign-born Latinos. The present study represents the foundation for future targeted intervention among immigrant populations at our cancer center's catchment area.

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