Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Korean Americans: A Systematic Review
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- Oh, K.M. & Jacobsen, K.H. J Community Health (2014) 39: 193. doi:10.1007/s10900-013-9758-x
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The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) among Korean Americans (KAs) has increased in recent years, even as the rate in nearly ever other population group in the United States has decreased. Reversing this trend will require improving screening rates, but a variety of sociocultural factors may inhibit this goal. We conducted a systematic review of the published literature on cancer screening among KAs, and identified thirteen eligible studies that examined CRC screening. KAs have CRC screening rates that are significantly lower than the national average. Only about one in four KAs ages 50 and older reports having ever had a fecal ocult blood test (FOBT) and only about 40 % have ever had a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. KA adults are also significantly less likely than the general US population to say they have heard of FOBT, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy. In the KA population, screening rates are higher among adults with higher socioeconomic status, greater acculturation to the United States, more cancer knowledge, more social support, and better access to healthcare services. Improving cultural and financial access to health education and healthcare services may increase CRC screening among KAs and reduce the incidence of the disease.