A recent study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice shows recent immigrants to Canada who developed cancer have fewer deaths than nonrecent immigrants.
The study examined cancer-related deaths between recent immigrants to Canada to both nonrecent immigrants and nonimmigrants, according to a press release from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. The study showed fewer deaths from cancer among the recent immigrants than the nonrecent immigrants and Canadian-born population.
“The benefit in survival appears to decay in the years after landing in Canada, suggesting that the healthy immigrant effect is potentially lost over time,” Dr. Matthew Cheung, first author and a hematologist at Sunnybrook, said in the release. “Further research into the quality of care and the interplay of ethnicity, culture and immigration status will help explain the protective impact of immigration on cancer outcomes."
Senior author on the study, Dr. Simron Singh, said cultural barriers surprisingly did not seem to affect the reason for the study’s results.
“We initially thought we may find, like several American studies have found, that immigrants actually have poorer cancer-related outcomes, given that they are in a new place, with an unfamiliar health system, potentially limited language skills and cultural barriers for accessing care,” Singh said in the release.
“We didn’t find that at all," Singh said. "Our findings suggest that immigrants are able to access essential cancer care in the Canadian context."