According to the most recent reports from the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US cancer death rates have been declining for all racial and ethnic groups except Asian American and Pacific Islander women (Wingo et al. 1998). In addition to the alarming cancer death rates in this community, these women also experience the lowest screening rates for breast and cervical cancers compared to all other racial and ethnic groups (American Cancer Society 1998, Kagawa-Singer and Pourat 2000). Faculty from the Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State University and the members of the Asian & Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivor's Network are proposing a statewide conference on October 26, 2001 to address these concerns. This conference will address the lowest U.S. Cancer screening rates and increasing cancer mortality rates among Asian American and Pacific Islander women, and the role of the medical, public health and lay communities in preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer. The specific aims of the conference are: 1) educate physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, public health, and health science students on the barriers facing Asian American and Pacific Islander women in seeking and obtaining breast and cervical cancer screening; 2) educate the California Department of Health Services officials and staff, and other state, policy and public health officials on the barriers facing Asian American and Pacific Islander women in seeking and utilizing breast and cervical cancer screening; and 3) identify successful outreach, education and other strategies in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to increase access and utilize breast and cervical cancer screening services.
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