Cancer Screening

Refugees in the United States (U.S.) experience significantly lower rates of cancer screening, compared to the general population [1, 2]. Additionally, many newcomers, including refugees, experience elevated risks from environmental exposures as well as from infection-attributable cancers based on their country or region of origin [2]. Unique cancer risks and disparities in rates of screening for cancer support a nuanced approach to cancer screening for newcomer populations. As cancer screening in the U.S. is based on patient age, providers should confirm the individual refugee’s biological age, which may differ from the age on their immigration documents. Special considerations for U.S. Preventive Services Task Force [3] cancer screening recommendations in immigrants, and an approach to addressing cancer risks unique among certain immigrant groups, have been published [2]. Some refugees may be eligible for free or low-cost breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services through CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Eligibility criteria differs by state or territory.