Cancer screening among racial/ethnic groups in health centers

De Chih Lee, Hailun Liang, Nanqian Chen, Leiyu Shi, Ying Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Underserved and low-income population are placed at a disadvantage for receiving necessary cancer screenings. This study aims to measure the rates of receiving three types of cancer screening services, Pap test, mammogram and colorectal cancer screening, among patients seen at U.S. health centers (HCs) to investigate if cancer screening among patients varies by race/ethnicity. Methods: We analyzed data from the 2014 U.S. Health Center Patient Survey, and included samples age 21 and above. We examined three cancer screening indicators as our dependent variables including cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer screening. Logistic regressions were used to assess the racial/ethnic disparities on cancer screening, while controlling for potentially confounding factors. Results: The rates of receiving three types of cancer screening were comparable and even higher among HC patients than those for the U.S. general population. Both bivariate and multivariate results showed there were racial/ethnic differences in the likelihood of receiving cancer screening services. However, the differences did not favor non-Hispanic Whites. African Americans had higher odds than Whites (OR: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.44-2.55, p < 0.001) of receiving Pap tests. Similar results were also found in measures of the receipt of mammogram (OR = 1.96, 95% CI: 1.46-2.64, P < 0.001) and colorectal cancer screening (OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.02-1.60, p < 0.05). Conclusion: The current study presents U.S. nationally representative estimates and imply that HCs are helping fulfill an important role as a health care safety-net in reducing racial/ethnic disparities in the delivery of cancer screening services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalInternational journal for equity in health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 27 2020


  • Cancer prevention
  • Health center
  • Racial disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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