Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Ike Okosun, MS, MPH, PhD, FTOS, FACE

Second Advisor

R. Rothenberg MD, MPH


Background: The number of Foreign Born (FB) individuals in the United States (US) is growing and their health behaviors and beliefs are important to know. In the US, cancer is the second leading cause of death, and there is need to explore factors that are associated with the use of cancer prevention strategies among FB individuals.

Objective: The study aimed to compare cancer screening rates, assess factors associated with use of cancer screening tests across FB and Non-Foreign Born (NFB) individuals and association between length of stay and use of selected cancer screening tests among FB people.

Methodology: Using the 2012 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 4, cycle 2 data, which comprised of 3,630 participants of which 513 were FB, logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify predictors of selected cancer screening tests. Independent variables included demographic and selected healthcare, beliefs, and information seeking factors.

Results: There were no significant differences in screening rates for cervical, breast, and colon cancers among the FB and NFB individuals. For breast cancer screening, having had a routine checkup in the last year was found to be associated with increased likelihood of having a mammography exam. For cervical cancer screening, none of the selected healthcare, beliefs and information seeking factors was found to be significant among the FB individuals. For colon cancer screening, only the information seeking factor “it took a lot of effort to get cancer information” was found to be significant among FB individuals. Length of stay in the US for FB individuals was found be associated with increased likelihood of colon cancer test only.

Conclusion: Inventive and ethnically appropriate strategies are essential to increase awareness for cancer prevention strategies. Well-designed information strategies that take into account the diversity of the US population can lead to benefits such as increased cancer screening.