Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 2004; 28(4).

Personal cancer prevention and screening practices among Asian Indian physicians in the United States

Ranjita Misra, PhD, CHESa, Susan T. Vadaparampil, PhD, MPHb

aHealth and Kinesiology Department, Texas A&M University, 4243 TAMU, 158P Read Building, College Station, TX 77843-4243, USA; bHealth Outcomes and Behavior Program, Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

This study examines personal cancer prevention and screening practices of Asian Indian physicians. Asian Indians are the third largest group of Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) residing in the United States. Using a cross-sectional study approach, we investigated cancer prevention and screening practices of 254 randomly selected Asian Indian physicians in the United States. Results showed that prevalence of conventional risk factors were low, e.g., smoking, alcohol consumption. Nutrition-related behaviors indicated 31­48% met the Food Guide Pyramid's recommendations for daily intake of fruits, vegetables, low fat/cholesterol diet, and grains. Certain cancer prevention and screening practices failed to meet age appropriate recommendations of leading health agencies. For men age 50 and over, only 27% ever had a flexible sigmoidoscopy and 25% ever had a fecal occult blood test (FOBT); 84% of women age 40 and over ever had a mammogram and 87% of women ever had a Papanicalou (Pap) smear. With respect to cancer screening behaviors, the respondents were less likely to engage in these preventive screenings (with the exception of mammography) than the general US population and the APIs (except Pap smears). Additionally, our respondents were less likely than other physicians to practice cancer screening behaviors. Results support the need to promote regular cancer prevention and screening among Asian Indian physicians.

KEY WORDS: Asian Indian, Cancer prevention, Cancer screening, Physicians, Asian Pacific Islanders.