Disparities in breast cancer diagnosis for immigrant women in Ontario and British Columbia: results from the CanIMPACT study

This retrospective cohort study used linked administrative databases in two provinces in Canada, to investigate stage of diagnosis, proportion of screen-detected breast cancers and length of diagnostic interval for immigrant women versus long-term residents. All women who were diagnosed with incident breast cancer between 2007 and 2011 were included. There were 14,198 women from British Columbia (BC) and 46,952 from Ontario that were included in the study, of which 11.8 and 11.7% were foreign-born respectively. In both provinces, immigrants and long-term residents had similar primary care access, however immigrant women were significantly less likely to have screen-detected breast cancer and had significantly longer diagnostic intervals. These results show the inequalities in breast cancer diagnosis for immigrant women in Canada, and future research should explore how the quality of primary care can be improved for these women.

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