Proportion of women with a delay longer than 90-days in surgical treatment by race/ethnicity.

A new study from a team led by LDI Senior Fellow Oluwadamilola M. Fayanju that included University of Pennsylvania undergraduate student Tej A. Patel found large disparities among Asian, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islander groups in the time to receive surgical treatment for breast cancer. The study reconfirms the persistence of breast cancer treatment disparities for frequently underrepresented and disadvantaged groups and highlights differences within Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander populations. 

The researchers used the National Cancer Database (NCDB) to perform a retrospective analysis of all women with a diagnosis of breast cancer who received surgery as their first course of treatment. Surgical treatment was more likely to be delayed for Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, Kampuchean (i.e., Cambodian), Thai, Asian Indian or Pakistani, and Pacific Islander women than for white women. Additionally, treatment was more likely to be delayed for Hmong and Native Hawaiian women with earlier stage cancer than for white women with similar disease. The investigators also looked at how often patients faced very long delays in receiving surgical treatment (more than 90 days). They found more than 20 percent of Hmong, Kampuchean, and Laotian patients faced these long delays as shown in the chart.

Racial disparities in the time to treatment for breast cancer have been well-established. With rising rates of breast cancer among Asian-American women and substantial variation in breast cancer epidemiology across subgroups, it is imperative to truly understand patterns of care across subgroups of this population. Such an understanding could assist in the development of culturally appropriate public health education about breast cancer.

The study, Delays in Time to Surgery Among Asian and Pacific Islander Women with Breast Cancer was published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology on June 26, 2023. Authors include Tej A. Patel, Bhav Jain, Edward Christopher Dee, Scarlett Lin Gomez, Neha Vapiwala, Fumiko Chino, and Oluwadamilola M. Fayanju.


Christine Weeks

Christine Weeks

Director of Strategic Initiatives

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