Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 374–381 | Cite as

Unmet Needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Cancer Survivors

  • Mai-Nhung LeEmail author
  • Giang T. Nguyen
  • Zhi Pan
  • Dale Dagar Maglalang
  • Fidelia Butt
  • Roxanna Bautista
  • Mavis Nitta
  • Frances K. Barg


In the USA, cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), but little is known about the unmet needs of AAPI cancer survivors, especially from a national perspective. Using a community-based participatory research approach, we partnered with the Asian and Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network and the Asian American Cancer Support Network to design and conduct a cross-sectional survey to understand the unmet needs of a national sample of AAPI cancer survivors. We assessed unmet needs in 10 domains: day-to-day activities, financial expenses, emotional concerns, medical treatment, cancer information, home care, nutrition, physical concerns, family relationships, and spirituality. We also assessed self-reported measures related to quality of life. This national sample of AAPI cancer survivors included people from 14 states and two territories who had been diagnosed with a broad range of cancers, including cancer of the breast, ovary/uterus/cervix, prostate, blood, and other sites. Over 80 % reported at least one unmet need. Participants reported an average of 8.4 unmet needs, spanning an average of 3.9 domains. Most commonly reported were unmet needs pertaining to physical concerns (66 %), day-to-day activities (52 %), and emotional concerns (52 %). This is the first report of unmet needs in a national sample of AAPI cancer survivors with a range of different cancer types. It describes the areas of greatest need and points to the importance of devoting more resources to identifying and addressing unmet needs for the underserved population of AAPI cancer survivors.


Cancer Cancer experience Unmet needs Cancer survivorship Quality of life Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) 



This work was supported by a sabbatical leave award from San Francisco State University (Dr. Mai-Nhung Le) and a mini-grant from the University of Pennsylvania Center for Public Health Initiatives (Dr. Nguyen, Penn Asian Health Initiatives, principal investigator). The authors wish to thank the National Advisory Committee of the Asian and Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network (the Network) for their guidance in the design of this study and the leaders and membership of the Network, the Asian American Cancer Support Network, and the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum for their assistance in recruiting participants for this study. They also wish to express their gratitude to the Asian and Pacific Islander cancer survivors who took the time to share their experiences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Asian American StudiesSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family Medicine and Community HealthUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Graduate Program in Public Health StudiesUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Asian American Cancer Support NetworkSunnyvaleUSA
  5. 5.Asian and Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network and Asian and Pacific Islander American Health ForumSan FranciscoUSA

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