Hispanic Women More at Risk for Aggressive Forms of Breast Cancer


LatinaCancerAwarnessMonthIt’s true that Hispanic women and Latinas experience a lower rate of breast cancer than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.

Unfortunately, Latinas who do develop breast cancer are often besieged by more aggressive forms of the disease, and are nearly twice as likely to succumb from it, according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

To help Hispanic women and their families get the information they need to understand their risk, get screened and make healthy choices, the HealthyHispanicLiving.com website continues the final month of it’s 90-day breast cancer awareness in April.

The HealthyHispanicLiving.com (HHL) A Passionate Pursuit of Prevention campaign focuses on educating Latinas and their families to help improve these outcomes, in partnership with City of Hope, Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), Latinas Contra Cancer, and ThinkNow Research. Throughout April, site visitors will find excellent resources, articles and videos about prevention, mammograms, genetic testing, and beneficial lifestyle choices, such as good nutrition and exercise. They can read about the latest clinical findings, and about women living with and surviving the disease.

Overcoming barriers to improved outcomes

According to BCRF, a campaign co-sponsor, Latinas are more likely to succumb to breast cancer than their non-Hispanic counterparts for several reasons:

Socioeconomic status – Despite increased breast cancer screening across all racial and ethnic groups, Hispanic women are still less likely to be diagnosed with early stage breast cancer than non-Hispanic women. In part, that’s because socioeconomics impact healthcare access, early detection and treatment. Latinas, for example, receive less frequent mammograms and less timely follow up in cases of suspicious mammograms, according to BCRF. Education, in part, can help improve related outcomes.

Obesity – Obesity is associated with an increased risk of several cancers, including post-menopausal breast cancer. Again, this risk factor disproportionately affects Hispanic women. In spite of increased obesity rates across all racial/ethnic groups in recent years, Hispanic women still remain more likely to be overweight or obese than non-Hispanic women, research has shown. However, overweight postmenopausal women who lose weight can reduce their risk of breast cancer.

Genetics: Latinas also remain at risk for gene mutations specific to the Hispanic population, which may lead to more virulent, early-onset forms of breast cancer. Researchers at City of Hope have traced some of these mutations to Spanish settlers in Latin America around 500 years ago. Education and genetic testing can help effected Hispanic women understand their risk, and gain the early awareness they need to act strategically.

Improving breast cancer outcomes for Hispanic women and Latinas will require a significant effort to increase related education, awareness and testing.

By visiting the HHL website, Latinas can begin to learn more about how important it is to take care of themselves, in addition to their families, to live a full and happy life.

About Healthy Hispanic Living
As the first preventive care online educational platform targeted to U.S. Hispanics, HHL aims to guide Hispanics to live healthier lives and to ensure preventive care engagement, accountability and self-advocacy by providing solutions and changing the conversation about health from illness to wellness.

About City of Hope
City of Hope near Los Angeles is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation.

About Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Breast Cancer Research Foundation is the highest-rated breast cancer nonprofit organization in the United States committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. BCRF provides critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis and survivorship. Since 1993, every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship has received BCRF funding.

About Latinas Contra Cancer
Founded to address the void in culturally and linguistically sensitive programs that meet the health care needs of Latinos around issues of cancer, LCC works to link services nationwide and provides cancer health education, patient navigation and psychosocial family support group services targeting the underserved and low income, Spanish-speaking.

About ThinkNow Research
ThinkNow Research is a full-service market research firm that focuses on U.S. Hispanic, Latin American and Multicultural research. The company has one of the largest online research panels available in the industry, conducts a monthly Hispanic Omnibus survey and works with their clients to create customized online Hispanic communities.