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HealthyHispanicLiving Contributor Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel Discusses How Understanding the Cultural Values of Latinas Helps Raise Awareness of Breast Cancer Risk & Prevention
Date:12/27/2013

Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) December 27, 2013

As Hispanics continue their population surge across the United States, it becomes more and more evident how underserved this community is – whether in business, politics or the media. However, being underserved by the healthcare industry carries higher, often deadly, stakes. In anticipation of February’s National Cancer Awareness Month, there’s one area in particular area – Latinas and breast cancer – that the medical and research community should be doing more to understand as well as conduct more proactive outreach to these women.

As Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel, Chief of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics at City of Hope, who leads a multidisciplinary clinical and research program that emphasizes the recognition and assessment of people at increased risk for developing cancer because of family cancer history or personal risk, explains in his latest article on HealthyHispanicLiving.com, “Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Latinas and the leading cause of cancer death. Yet, Latinas receive early detection and screening services far less often than non-Latina whites, and a greater proportion of Latinas are diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer.”

Further, there is a lack of research on Latinas’ genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer – even though BRCA gene mutations, which bring a significant increase in risk for breast and ovarian cancer, have "high prevalence" among Latinas. In one study, 25 percent of Latinas with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer had the BRCA gene
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