this little article on the stuff website talks about the low rates of cervical smears and breast cancer screening amongst asian women:
Partnership Health Canterbury ethnic liaison officer Wayne Reid said he was concerned about the low uptake of cancer screening among Asians.
Ministry statistics show that only 47 per cent of Asian women regularly have a cervical smear test.
Screening rates for Maori and Pacific women are 51 per cent and 54 per cent respectively, compared with 83 per cent for other New Zealanders....
Asian people in New Zealand suffered the "healthy migrant effect", where they would arrive healthy, but their health deteriorated because of stress and diet changes.
Reid said the ministry largely ignored Asian health needs, which were relegated to the "too-hard basket".
Auckland University of Technology Centre for Asian and Migrant Health senior research fellow Ruth DeSouza wrote a research paper last year showing Asian women were the least likely of all ethnic groups to have mammograms or smear tests, generally going to a doctor only if something was already wrong.
the headline to this piece was pretty awful "Asian women 'disadvantaged' in health". notice the brackets around "disadvantaged", which implies there is no real disadvantage and they're only pretending. on top of that, no-one quoted in the article even uses the word. grrr.
the main issue is the lower rates of screening for asian women, and the need to develop strategies to deal with that. the cause may be embarassment, a belief that they are less susceptible to these types of cancer or a lack of understanding of the importance of detecting these diseases early. in any case, it's an issue that needs some work by the "back-room" staff in the ministry, if we have any left.