Los Angeles hospital spearheads research to understand cancer trends in Fil-Am community

Cedars Sinai Main Exterior | Photo from www.cedars-sinai.org

CEDARS-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is spearheading a research program into the Filipino American community’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward cancer and prevention.

The survey, entitled “Survey of Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors in the Filipino Community,” seeks participants to answer questions about what they know about cancer, prevention, and access to health care.

The questionnaire, available online at ceda.rs/cancersurvey, is voluntary and open to Filipino individuals 18 and over living in California.

“As the Director of Research Center for Health Equity, it is very important for us to conduct the Filipino Cancer and Healthcare in Los Angeles Survey so that we can better understand current beliefs and practices relevant to cancer prevention and control,” Dr. Robert W. Haile, director of the hospital’s Research Center for Health Equity, told the Asian Journal  in an email.

Other questions cover cancer risk factors like smoking, drinking and exercise habits and one’s medical history.

The initiative builds from Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez’s visit last September wherein he and doctors and officials at the medical center discussed the need for a comprehensive profile of the state of Fil-Am collective health.
Cedars-Sinai’s Research Center for Health Equity conducted an initial survey this past summer and received about 500 respondents from the Fil-Am community. Initial results showed Fil-Am women having higher rates of breast cancer as well as the highest incidence of thyroid cancer and obesity.

The hospital has done similar inquiries into other underserved populations, such as the Korean American and Hispanic communities, by conducting outreach and screenings at churches and other local events

The center has been reaching out to the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles and other community organizations to gather about 1,000 responses for the study.

“Eventually we will design interventions that will better serve the Filipino community which is an important growing segment of our population,” Haile said, adding, “Based on the results, we then hope to expand ongoing programs, focused first on enhancing compliance with cancer screening guidelines. We hope to launch these efforts next year.”

Cedars-Sinai employs more than 3,000 Filipino Americans, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.

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