MAHA’s Asian Comprehensive Breast Cancer Education and Support Program Press Release

Updated on September 26, 2017


Media Advisory  


November 15th, 2016 

MAHA FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         Email: (312) 225-8659  

Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA) is pleased to initiate an Asian Breast Cancer Education and Support Program targeting the Asian women who are low income with language and cultural barriers to health information and breast screening and follow up care. This initiative is supported by funds from the American Association of Retired People (AARP)Sinai Hospital, ECLAT Network, Inc. Heung Seng Corp, and Chinatown Parking Foundation for Comprehensive Breast Cancer Support Program that provides culturally and linguistically appropriate patient-centered breast cancer education & awareness, screening, linkages – t0 – care, referrals and support for newly diagnosed Asian & Pacific Islanders immigrants breast cancer patients. MAHA has partnered with Chinese American Service League, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, and Metro- South Metro Medical Center for the breast cancer education and screening. This program will increase community awareness about breast cancer, provide education, promote breast cancer screening, build linkages to cancer center, and create a newly diagnosed patient – centered breast cancer support network which provides supportive services, patient advocacy and patient – centered decision – making navigation.  

Incidences rates for breast cancer are rising among Asian and Pacific Islander women. From 2008 through 2012, Asian American woman experienced the highest increase in incidence rates at 1.5% a year, compared to 0.4% a year among Black women, and no increase among Whites, Hispanics, and American Indian/ Alaska Natives. Significant differences in incidence rate have also been found by Asian ethnic subgroup, with Korean and Vietnamese women experiencing the most dramatic growth. Furthermore, Asian women who immigrate to the U. S. experience nearly a two-fold rise in risk for breast cancer, as compared to their counterparts in their countries of origin. In addition, Asian immigrant breast cancer patients often have low health literacy levels and limited English proficiency. They face significant challenges navigating the health care system and accessing linguistically appropriate medical services.  

MAHA provides the comprehensive breast cancer education and support services free of charge and in Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and in the English languages. This is a partnership program working with multiple agencies including community based organizations, health care providers, media organization, public health departments, and academic institutions, with a final goal to reduce breast cancer rates among Asian immigrant women.  


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