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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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Cancer and Asian Americans

Asian Americans generally have lower cancer rates than the non-Hispanic white population. However, disparities still exist in certain types of cancer.

  • From 2012-2016, Asian/Pacific Islander men were 50 percent less likely to have prostate cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men, but they are twice as likely to have stomach cancer.
  • Although Asian/Pacific Islander women are 30 percent less likely to have breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women, they are twice as likely to have stomach cancer.
  • Both Asian/Pacific Islander men and women have almost twice the incidence of liver & IBD cancer, as compared to the non-Hispanic white population.
  • Asian/Pacific Islander men are twice as likely to die from stomach cancer as compared to non-Hispanic white men, and Asian/Pacific Islander women are 2.8 times as likely to die from the same disease, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.

Diagnosis

Age-adjusted percentages of cancer among adults aged 18 and over, 2018
Cancer Asian American Non-Hispanic White Asian American/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites 3.9 9.9 0.4
Breast 1.1 3.3 0.3
Cervical 0.1 1.1 0.1
Prostate 1.7 2.1 0.8

Source: CDC, 2020. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2018. Table A-3a.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

Top Cancer Sites for Asian Americans (2012-2016)

Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000 – Men
Cancer Asian/Pacific Islander
Men
Non-Hispanic
White Men
Asian/Pacific Islander/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites 301.1 505.5 0.6
Colon & Rectum 37.9 44.1 0.8
Liver & IBD 19.9 10.8 1.8
Lung 46.3 67.5 0.7
Pancreas 10.8 15.1 0.7
Prostate 55.6 104.5 0.5
Stomach 14.3 8.2 1.7

Source: NCI 2020. Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016. Tables 2.15 through 24.15
https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/sections.html

 

Top Cancer Sites for Asian Americans (2012-2016)

Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000 – Women
Cancer Asian/Pacific Islander Women Non-Hispanic
White Women
Asian/Pacific Islander/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites 299.7 448.0 0.7
Breast 100.0 136.6 0.7
Cervical 6.4 6.6 1.0
Colon & Rectum 26.9 34.3 0.8
Liver & IBD 7.4 3.7 2.0
Lung 28.2 56.0 0.5
Pancreas 9.1 11.5 0.8
Stomach 8.2 3.8 2.2
Uterus 20.8 28.5 0.7

Source: NCI 2020. Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016. Tables 2.15 through 24.15
https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/sections.html

5 Year Survival Rate

Not available at this time.

 

Death Rate

Cancer Death Rates per 100,000 – Men (2012-2016)
Cancer Asian/Pacific Islander
Men
Non-Hispanic
White Men
Asian/Pacific Islander/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites 118.6 197.3 0.6
Colon & Rectum 11.6 16.6 0.7
Liver & IBD 13.8 8.3 1.7
Lung 30.2 54.1 0.6
Pancreas 8.2 12.9 0.6
Prostate 8.6 18.1 0.5
Stomach 6.8 3.3 2.1

Source: NCI 2020. Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016. Table 1.20
https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/sections.html

 

Cancer Death Rates per 100,000 – Women (2012-2016)

Cancer Asian/Pacific Islander Women Non-Hispanic
White Women
Asian/Pacific Islander/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites 86.6 141.9 0.6
Breast 11.2 20.6 0.5
Cervical 1.7 2.1 0.8
Colon & Rectum 8.4 11.9 0.7
Liver & IBD 5.8 3.4 1.7
Pancreas 7.1 9.5 0.7
Stomach 4.2 1.7 2.8
Uterus 3.1 4.4 0.7

Source: NCI 2020. Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016. Table 1.20
https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/sections.html

 

Screening

Breast Cancer

Percentage of women age 40 and over who had a mammogram within the past 2 years, 2015 (crude)
Asian American
Women
Non-Hispanic
White Women
Asian American/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
59.7 65.8 0.9

Source: CDC, 2019. Health United States, 2018. Table 33.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus18.pdf [PDF | 1.56MB]

 

Cervical Cancer

Percentage of women age 18 and over who had a Pap smear within the past 3 years, 2015 (crude)
Asian American
Women
Non-Hispanic
White Women
Asian American/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
64.9 68.4 1.0

Source: CDC, 2019. Health United States, 2018. Table 34.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus18.pdf [PDF | 1.56MB]

 

Colon Cancer

Adults aged 50-75 who had any colorectal test or procedure, 2015
Asian American Non-Hispanic White Asian American/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
52.7 65.4 0.8

Source: National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. Data Query: Table 7_5_1_3_1.1 [Accessed 2/11/2020]
http://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/data/query

Last Modified: 2/28/2020 2:47:00 PM