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Keywords:

  • Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, and Training;
  • cancer;
  • Asian American;
  • social justice

Abstract

In the current presentation, as a first-generation Asian-American immigrant, the author discussed the dire inequities of the current cancer prevention and control systems in the U.S. and attempted to analyze the root causes of the problem. The universal concern is that the occurrence of cancer, cancer's behavioral antecedents, (diet, physical activity, and tobacco use), the early detection of cancer, and cancer survivorship all relate inversely to education, income, social class, and white race. In other words, not only are cancer rates higher among lesser educated, poorer, and socially deprived individuals, but the availability and benefits of primary, secondary, and tertiary cancer prevention also are rationed, consciously or subconsciously, by current society within and outside the borders of the U.S. Asian Americans are one of the unrecognized populations among these deprived groups. The objective of this article was to provide a thoughtful perspective on this very real problem and why it persists. Because of the audience at the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, and Training meeting, where the current report was presented, the author tried to avoid a treatise on Asian philosophy and values but could not resist the comment that, in archaic Chinese terms, the public health and health care systems in the U.S. today lack balance and harmony. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.