Uptake of cancer screenings among a multiethnic refugee population in North Texas, 2014-2018

Amy Raines Milenkov, Martha Felini, Eva Baker, Rushil Acharya, Elvis Longanga Diese, Sara Onsa, Shane Fernando, Holy Chor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background Refugees are less likely than US born populations to receive cancer screenings. Building Bridges is a community health worker prevention program designed to increase refugee's cancer screening uptake. The purpose of this cross sectional analysis was to assess differences in uptake of cervical, breast, liver, and colorectal screens across six cultural groups. Methods Data was abstracted in 2018 for this analysis. Participants were categorized into six cultural groups (Myanmar, Central Africa, Bhutan, Somalia, Arabic Speaking Countries, and Other) to assess differences in sociodemographic measures and screening uptake. Uptake proportions were calculated for each cancer type (cervical, breast, liver, and colon) among eligible participants, by gender and cultural group. Differences in uptake across groups were assessed using stratified analysis and logistic regression. Prevalence odds ratios (POR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for each group to assess the association between screening completion and cultural group. Findings 874 refugees were asked about cancer screening history. The majority of participants were either 'never had been screened' or 'not up-to-date' for every cancer screening. Among age eligible, 82% had no prior pap exam within the past 3 years, 81% had no prior mammogram within the past year, 69% didn't know their Hepatitis B status and 87% never had a colon cancer screening. Overall, higher uptake of all types of cancer screenings was observed in Myanmar and Bhutanese groups, except colon cancer screening which was higher among Central African Region and Arabic Speaking participants. Conclusion Screening uptake varied by ethnic group and screening type. The program reached an under and never screened population, however, the proportion of refugees who received a cancer screening remained low compared to the US population. Diversity within refugee communities requires adaptation to specific cultural and linguistic needs to include new Americans in cancer elimination efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0230675
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Uptake of cancer screenings among a multiethnic refugee population in North Texas, 2014-2018'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this