The Southeast Asian Breast Health Navigation Report

Publication Date: January 2009

Publisher: Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance

Author(s): Mary Anne Foo; Marjorie Kagawa-Singer; Jacqueline H. Tran; Tu-Uyen Nguyen

Research Area: Health

Keywords: community-based participatory research; cancer screening; breast cancer; Southeast Asian

Type: Report

Coverage: California


Southeast Asian (Cambodian, Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese) women have the lowest rates of breast cancer screening among Asian and Pacific Islander women. Many Southeast Asian (SEA) women encounter enormous barriers to breast cancer screening and treatment services due to many factors. In recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on the importance of employing community health navigators to improve health access and utilization for these communities.

This is the first community-based participatory research study to investigate community breast health navigation in four Southeast Asian communities in Southern California.
Our collaborative goal was to identify how community health navigators address cultural
differences and systemic barriers to effectively navigate low-income Southeast Asian (SEA)
women (Cambodian, Laotian, Thai and Vietnamese) in Los Angeles and Orange County to obtain breast health care services. We explored our research questions by studying the perspectives of three groups: community health navigators, Southeast Asian women/patients, and their providers.