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Overall breast cancer testing rates are up in the U.S., but new research suggests that women who have recently come to the country may be significantly less likely to get screened for the disease.
Researchers from Penn State University reported at the recent Conference on the Science of Health Disparities that immigrants were at least 3.4 percent less likely to get screened in 2008. While this is an improvement over previous years, the team said a good deal of progress is still needed to eliminate this disparity.
The researchers speculated that immigrants are less likely to have health insurance or a regular healthcare provider, which likely makes it more difficult to access preventative treatments like breast cancer testing. The team recommended that more individuals be given access to subsidized screening programs.
"There is progress, overall, in use of mammography among foreign-born women in the United States, but there is still a lot of work to do to improve their use of recommended breast cancer screening," said Nengliang Yao, who led the investigation.
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