Asian Americans Have the Lowest Cancer Screening Rates

Asian Woman Screened for Cancer

The percentage of Americans screened for cancer remains below national targets, with significant disparities among racial and ethnic populations, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute.

This is the first-ever federal study to identify cancer screening disparities among Asian and Hispanic groups.

The study, published today in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, used data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey to assess the use of currently recommended cancer screening tests by age, race, ethnicity, education, length of residence in the U.S., and source and financing of health care.

Significant highlights include:

  • In 2010, breast cancer screening rates were 72.4 percent, below the Healthy People 2020 target of 81 percent; cervical cancer screening was 83 percent, below the Healthy People 2020 target of 93 percent; and colorectal cancer screening was 58.6 percent, below the target of 70.5 percent.
  • Screening rates for all three cancers were significantly lower among Asians (64.1 percent for breast cancer, 75.4 percent for cervical cancer, and 46.9 percent for colorectal cancer) compared to other groups.
  • Hispanics were less likely to be screened for cervical and colorectal cancer (78.7 percent and 46.5 percent, respectively) when compared to non-Hispanics (83.8 percent and 59.9 percent, respectively).
  • Screening rates for breast cancer remained relatively stable and varied no more than 3 percent over the period 2000-2010.
  • From 2000-2010, colorectal cancer screening rates increased markedly for men and women, with the rate for women increasing slightly faster so that rates among both sexes were nearly identical (58.5 percent for men and 58.8 percent for women) in 2010.

To read the press release related to this study, please visit:

For more information on CDC’s efforts to prevent cancer, please visit: