Breast Cancer is a Serious Risk for Hispanics and Latinas
Be Informed about Breast Cancer
Each year, an estimated 11,000 Hispanics/Latinas are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer – it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic/Latina women. Studies also show that even though Hispanic/Latina women have lower breast cancer rates than other cultures, they are more likely to die from the disease. This contradiction is due to the fact that Hispanic/Latina women are less likely to participate in mammography screening and more likely to be diagnosed at later stages of breast cancer due to lack of awareness of breast cancer risks and screening methods.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there is no better time than now to get informed about how the Hispanic/Latina population is affected by the disease. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has been a global leader in the fight against breast cancer through its support of innovative research and community-based outreach programs. The Komen Foundation recommends the following screening guidelines for women and breast health:
· Monthly breast self-examination beginning by age 20
· Clinical breast examinations at least every 3 years beginning at age 20 and annually after age 40
· Annual screening mammography beginning at age 40
· Women under age 40 with either a family history of breast cancer or other concerns about their personal risk should consult with a health care provider about risk assessment and when to begin mammography
Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death for Hispanics/Latinas. In addition, Hispanics/Latinas have a higher likelihood of late diagnosis and underutilization of available breast health services including screening tests such as mammography. Mammography has the ability to detect breast cancers before they can be felt. Women can also get a free or low-cost mammogram by contacting their local Komen Affiliate, Health Department, Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Prevention (BCCCP) Program, YWCA’s Encore Plus Program or the American Cancer Society.
The Komen Foundation offers more resources about breast cancer on its Web site in English and Spanish at www.komen.org. Diagrams and instructions on how to complete the proper breast self-exam can be found in both English and Spanish at www.komen.org/bse/.