Incidence of Cancer among South Asian Communities


Cancer is among the top causes of death in the US. Many ethnic and racial groups are disproportionately affected, including South Asians (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, and Nepali). According to the California Cancer Registry, the top cancers affecting South Asians in Los Angeles include breast, colorectal, corpus uterine, ovarian, thyroid, prostate, lung, leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Recent research conducted by Saath Co-Founder, Zul Surani, and researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr. Roshan Bastani and Dr. Beth Glenn, have uncovered very low screening rates among South Asians for top cancers affecting them. As a result, Saath, with its goal to collaborate with communities to improve the health of South Asians, has developed programs to increase awareness and screening in the community and support those who are affected by cancer. The state of California’s Dialogue on Cancer at the Department of Health Services have recognized these programs and presented Saath one of the 2009 Dr. Diane Fink Cancer Control Mobilization Awards. This award is given to community-based organizations demonstrating Dr. Fink’s vision for comprehensive cancer control and laser-like focus on problem solving.

To celebrate this recognition and to bring about awareness of how cancer affects South Asians, Saath has organized a community forum on Saturday, July 25 th, at 9:30am at the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. The goal is to provide tools and resources to those who want get involved and make a difference. Saath invites community leaders and volunteers, health professionals, researchers/scientists, cancer survivors and others to attend this event. The event will be held at the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1450 Biggy Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. Deadline to RSVP is on July 20.

To RSVP, contact Saath at or (866) 459-8474. For more information, visit us at




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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