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The Role of Medical Tourism in Cancer Screening among Korean Immigrant Women

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Objective: Korean immigrant (KI) women have lower breast and cervical cancer screening rates than other Asian women subgroups. Medical tourism has emerged as a strong predictor for some types of cancer screening but has not been examined thoroughly with breast and cervical cancer screening. This study examines the association between medical tourism and breast and cervical cancer screening among KI women. Methods: Data came from a cross-sectional study examining health behaviors of KIs in the Seattle, Washington metropolitan area. Women ages 40-74 years were included in the analysis (N = 102). Outcomes were up-to-date with breast cancer screening and up-to-date with cervical cancer screening. Predictors included socio-demographics, health factors, acculturation, worry about cost of care, and medical tourism. Data analysis included logistic regression. Results: In multivariate modeling, medical tourism was the only predictor associated with both breast and cervical cancer screening. Women who engaged in medical tourism had greater odds of being up-to-date with breast cancer and cervical cancer screening respectively, compared to those not engaged in medical tourism. Conclusion: Many KI women are participating in medical tourism for cancer care. Our findings have broad implications for KI women in the US and their US providers.
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Keywords: BREAST CANCER; BREAST CANCER SCREENING; CERVICAL CANCER; CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING; KOREAN IMMIGRANTS; MEDICAL TOURISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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