Thursday, May 23, 2024

Breast Cancer Still Affects Latinas More Than Other Ethnic Groups

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and even though the death rate from breast cancer has been declining since 1990, the disease still affects Latina women at an alarming rate.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Latinas. And even though Latinas have lower breast cancer rates than white women, they are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women who are diagnosed at a similar age and stage.

As previously reported on La Plaza, Latinas also have to wait longer to receive life-saving breast cancer treatment than white women, by 30, 60 and up to 90 days.

“We need to ensure that Hispanic women have the knowledge and medical care to put an end to this disease,” says Margaret Moran, National President of LULAC. “Breast cancer affects everyone, not just the person diagnosed. Likewise, everyone needs to do their part to minimize the risks within our community.”

As stated in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure fact sheet for breast cancer, race is not considered a factor that might increase a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. The rates of developing and dying from the disease differ among ethnic groups. The differences could be due to the cost of health insurance and/or lack of awareness about screening tests and access to screening facilities.

Mexican telenovela actress Maite Perroni, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, speaks out to encourage Latinas to become proactive with their health.

“After going through this experience, it prompted me to spread this message of hope to other people,” she says. “By getting exams on time, not only will you become more aware of your body, but you’ll also be able to detect cancer early and fight back on time.”