Sunday, April 21, 2024

Study Being Conducted to Find If There is A Breast Cancer Gene in Latina Women







The UMC Breast Cancer Center in Texas lead by Dr. Candy Arentz, is conducting a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health focusing on breast cancer in Latina women.

The goal is to collect saliva samples from 2,000 Latina women currently or previously diagnosed with breast cancer to get the women’s DNA make-up. The objective is to either confirm or dismiss the notion that there is a specific gene that causes cancer for Latina women.

“I don’t really know if there is a different breast cancer gene for Latinas because when you plug in Hispanic on a database there isn’t enough scientific research on ethnic groups,” says Dr. Arentz.

The study will only focus on the genetic statistics, but the problem is that there is not enough information on the genetic composition of Latina women because of minimal Latino involvement in medical studies. The National Cancer Institute states that out of 100 percent of adults who participate in studies, only 5.6% are Latino.

“For some Hispanic women, talking to your male physician about your breast is not appropriate,” says Dr. Arentz, “so we have to raise awareness in minority communities so maybe the shame may be lessened.”

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic women, but it’s the least likely to be diagnosed in early stages.

Margie Olivarez, a breast cancer survivor says, “I am passionate about getting the word out that they need to pay attention to their bodies; Latina moms get so busy taking care of everyone else, we end up putting ourselves on the bottom of the list. –I hope to live [to see] the day they find the cure.”

NBC Latino
The National Cancer Institute
American Cancer Society