Breast Cancer and Latinas

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. In regards to Latinas, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. Latinas are also more likely than whites to be diagnosed at a later stage, when the cancer is more advanced and harder to treat. Early detection is key to breast-cancer prevention and survivorship.
Breast Cancer Screenings Options
Screening can help find breast cancer early when it is most treatable. Two tests commonly used to screen for breast cancer are mammograms and Clinical Breast Exams (CBE).
Mammograms are a safe, low-dose X-ray of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. According to the American Cancer Society guidelines, yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing as long as a woman is in 
good health.
Clinical Breast Exam (CBE)
The doctor looks at and feels the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. Ask your doctor if you need a CBE. According to the American Cancer Society guidelines, the CBE should be performed about every 3 years for women in their 20s and every year for women 40 and over.
A woman can also learn from her doctor how to perform a self-breast exam (SBE) to check for lumps or other breast changes that may signal breast cancer.
About 2 percent of women may be screened with an MRI in addition to mammograms as determined by her physician because of their family history, a genetic tendency or certain other factors.
Women Have Had Breast Cancer Mammograms in Pennsylvania
According to Pennsylvania Department of Health BRFSS 2010 data, only 58 percent of women age 40 and older reported having had a mammogram in the past year.  Furthermore, lower reporting of breast cancer screenings was observed among women of lower levels of education and income. Data were lacking for Latinas due to small sample size.
Free or Low-Cost Mammograms Offered to Reduce Barriers to Screenings
Some women do not get regular mammograms because of cost and lack of insurance. Yet, there are free and low-cost programs to help women get breast cancer screening.  Contact your local health clinics and doctor’s office to learn more about local programs.
American Cancer Society Community Grant Awarded to Estamos 
Unidos de PA
American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Making Strides Against Breast Cancer mobilizes education and screening for breast cancer in Central Pennsylvania. In local communities across Ohio and Pennsylvania, ACS has invested $450,000 to fund 18 Community Partnership Grants with goals to reach over 115,000 women with breast-cancer information and education through community outreach and provide over 40,000 life-saving screenings to women in need. Estamos Unidos de Pennsylvania (EUP) was one of the 18 organizations that received this grant. EUP, founded in 2002, is a community-based, grassroots, not-for-profit organization. EUP Breast Cancer Project utilizes evidence-based strategies as well as highly respected community-based partners/community leaders for its breast-cancer health promotion and health education efforts.
EUP also partnered with Hamilton Health, Berks Community Health Clinic and Lebanon Family Health to offer eligible women opportunities for life-saving screenings, including Latinas residing in Berks, Dauphin, Lehigh/Lehigh Valley, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.
The EUP’s ACS Community Partnership Grant Makes It Possible in Your Community
• Breast-cancer information and education through community outreach to prevent and detect breast cancer early.
• Reduction of barriers to receiving screenings like transportation, location of appointments and language.
• Access to screenings for underserved women, including those who are low income and underinsured.
• Reminder systems for screening appointments.
Other local businesses standing united with EUP against breast cancer and in support of these much-needed cancer education efforts include Hershey Company/HERCO, Member’s 1st, Aerotek, HGSK, St. Francis of Assisi, Bilingual Christian Church of Harrisburg, Penn State Cancer Institute, Spanish American Civic Association (SACA), Derry Street Church, Lebanon Village, Antioch Assembly, Urban Connection and St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church – to name a few. If you wish to partner, learn more or have questions, please contact Dr. Oralia at (814) 574-1850 or Karla Gurian at (717) 649-0368.
Amerian Cancer Society 24-hour 
Help Line
The American Cancer Society’s 24-hour Hotline is (800) 227-2345. You can also visit the ACS website at

Please talk with your doctor to inquire about your breast cancer risk and screening needs. Take care, and stay healthy. Remember, breast-cancer screenings save lives. You can send me your health questions to ¡Hola, Oralia! at Together we can help keep Pennsylvania residents healthy.


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