Facebook Pixel

Study Aims to Help Latinas Thrive after Breast Cancer

Rate This
help-for-latinas-to-thrive-after-breast-cancer Monkey Business/Thinkstock

In the United States, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in nearly every racial and ethnic group. This includes Caucasian, African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, and Hispanic/Latina women.

But for non-white and minority women, being diagnosed with breast cancer can be a very different experience. Minority women continue to fare worse than white women in terms of health status, rates of disability, and mortality, according to recent findings of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

For example, although Latinas have statistically lower breast cancer rates than non-Latina white women, they are more likely than white women to be diagnosed at a later stage, when the cancer is more advanced and harder to treat, and survival rates are lower.

Major barriers to health care, such as access to early detection and treatment of breast cancer, are, in part, responsible for such alarming statistics. More often than any other group, Hispanic Americans/Latinas have no regular source of health care, according to U.S. Health and Human Services.

Latinas also face other barriers to health care, including difficulties with language, transportation, childcare, immigration status, cultural differences and lack of insurance.

Yet, even with early diagnosis and access being equal, Latinas are more likely to have tumors that are larger and harder to treat than white women. They also tend to get breast cancer at younger ages.

Right now, researchers don’t know why these differences happen. Once diagnosed with the disease, how Latinas fare during and after treatment is also little understood.

Drs. Annette Stanton of University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and Betina Yanez of Northwestern University, in conjunction with the Avon/Love Army of Women want to help change that.

They have started The Latina Breast Cancer Initiative, a study to find the best way for medical providers to treat Latinas to improve their post-treatment quality of life.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Focus on all women and yes men(men do get breast cancer too),all ethnic and racial backgrounds. Breast cancer detection,treatment and survival is vital for everyone,not one special group.

April 5, 2012 - 5:09pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Breast Cancer

Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Breast Cancer Guide


Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!