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National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative Launches New Campaign 'Asian Women Don't Get Breast Cancer'

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative (NABCI), is a startup non-profit project organized by a group of influencers, connectors and activists concerned about the unique issues that Asian women face related to breast cancer. NABCI's newly launched campaign is titled "Asian women don't get breast cancer" in honor of breast cancer activist Susan Shinagawa.


Contrary to a pervasive, popular perception among medical professionals, Asian women get breast cancer. In fact, it's one of the leading causes of death among Asian women in the United States, who actually face unique cultural, linguistic and genetic issues pertaining to breast cancer.

In 1991, Susan noticed a lump in her breast during her monthly self-exam. Her mammogram came out negative, but a sonogram revealed that the lump was a solid mass. The first doctor diagnosed Susan with fibrocystic breast disease -- lumpy breasts -- and refused to do a biopsy because, "Asian women don't get breast cancer." The second doctor also diagnosed Susan with lumpy breasts and said: "I can tell you with 99.9 percent certainty that you do not have breast cancer." This time Susan insisted on the biopsy and was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and opted for a modified radical mastectomy of her right breast and six months of chemotherapy. Ten years later, a routine mammogram revealed that Susan had an unrelated breast cancer in her left breast, for which she underwent a second mastectomy.

Susan is still in active treatment and has become one of the nation's leading Asian breast cancer activists. Susan helped co-found the Asian and Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network (APINCSN), which is a partner of NABCI. To this day, Susan still meets Asian women diagnosed with breast cancer who, like her, were initially told by their healthcare providers that "Asian women don't get breast cancer."

A number of Asian-American social media influencers have also agreed to become Asian Breast Cancer Advocates and formally take part in the initiative. Together, NABCI's Advocates have a reach on their social media channels. Some of these advocates include: Kelly Hu, actress; Jen Wang and Diana Nguyen, Co-Founders of; Anna Park, Editor-in-Chief of Audrey Magazine; Jeannie Mai, Television Personality; Jocelyn Wang, Editor-in-Chief of; Phil Yu, Editor at; Lisa Wong, Editor-in-Chief Hyphen Magazine; Lynn Chen, Actress and L Blogger at Actor's Diet; Maggie Hsu, Co-Founder of; Arika Sato, Youtube Personality, Tina Craig, Founder of Snob Global Media and Crystal Lee, Miss California 2013 and Miss America 2013 Runner-Up.

Overall, there are five key reasons why the initiative is specially designed to target Asian women. First, although there seems to be a pervasive stereotype among medical professionals that "Asian women don't get breast cancer," a spokesperson for NABCI said it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and one of the leading causes of death among Asian women in the U.S.

Second, because a large percentage of Asian-American women are from Asia, where an estimated 70 percent do not get regular mammograms, Asian women in the U.S. are also the least likely to get a regular mammogram," the spokesperson noted, adding that studies have also shown that Asian women tend to develop breast cancer at a younger age so it is even more important to get breast cancer exams early.

In addition, the spokesperson noted, Asian-born women who have been living in the U.S. for more than 10 years have up to an 80 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than their newly-arrived Asian immigrant counterparts.

"Asian females also tend to have 'dense breasts,' where mammograms may miss up to 60% of cancers in women with dense breasts. As a result, Asian females with higher mammographic density may require more expensive and therefore harder-to-approve ultrasounds and MRIs to detect breast cancer early.'

Finally, NABCI was created because there is currently no national organization or project that addresses breast cancer among Asian Pacific Islanders—despite the fact that there are unique cultural, linguistic and genetic challenges specific to Asian women who face this disease.

About National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative:

The National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative (NABCI) is a national initiative organized by a group of influencers, connectors and activists concerned about the unique cultural, linguistic and genetic challenges that Asian women face related to breast cancer. NABCI is a not-for-profit pilot project currently spearheaded by the Privy Groupe (, fiscally managed by the Asian Pacific Community Fund (, and endorsed by the Asian and Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network, which is part of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum ( For more information, please visit

About Privy Groupe: is a private members' club that empowers a select group of globally-minded influencers, connectors and activists whose lifestyles are transpacific in nature. Through our Privy Causes initiative, we believe in the power of raising awareness and rallying support for issues important to our members and our community. Our hope is that, as individuals who have achieved a certain amount of success, we can leverage our collective resources to affect change worldwide.

Twitter: @aznbreastcancer
Email: nabci [@]

Media Contact: Stephen Liu, National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative, 310-870-7118,

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SOURCE National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative
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