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Stereotypes untrue about Asian women and breast cancer

Kathy Lim Ko, the president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, wants the public as well as healthcare professionals and policy makers to know that the stereotype concerning Asian women and breast cancer is untrue, according to a new report from the SF Gate.

Many people still believe that Asian women do not get breast cancer, according to Ko.

Ko recounts a story about a friend, Susan Shinagawa, who received multiple misleading diagnoses as well as feedback from doctors who also subscribed to the generalizations concerning race and breast cancer.

Shinagawa went through mammograms, sonograms and multiple initial diagnoses, all coming back as breast disease or "lumpy breasts," but not breast cancer. Finally, a biopsy revealed that she did have cancer. Shinagawa went on to form the Asian & Pacific Island National Cancer Survivors Network.

The state of California keeps statistics breast cancer and among Asian women, and finds that the Japanese population is most susceptible to breast cancer and the Filipina population most likely to die from the disease.

Ko wants to see other states keep track of their statistics so that people can become aware of the facts concerning such a deadly disease.

One in eight American women in the U.S. develop breast cancer and about 200,000 new cases in women are diagnosed each year.
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