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Hispanics urged to perform skin self-exams, discuss cancer risk with physicians
Date:8/27/2013

n exposure, even with darker skin," she added.

Lugo-Somolinos, originally from Puerto Rico, came to UNC six years ago. She initially thought cultural traditions, especially the strong sense of modesty among women that she observed in her Puerto Rican patients, might explain her North Carolina Hispanic patients' reluctance to perform SSEs or request skin exams from health care providers. She quickly learned that was not the case with the study population of Hispanics.

"We did not find patient modesty to be a barrier, but what we did find was that patients felt they didn't have enough time with physicians to ask about preventive care such as skin exams," she said. "We also learned that physicians were not taking the opportunity to raise the subject with their patients, as they do with other health promotion topics such as smoking cessation or seatbelt use."

Lugo-Somolinos noted her varied experiences with patients in Puerto Rico and North Carolina highlight that there is no monolithic "Hispanic" community -- and that individual countries and cultures must be understood and considered when working with Hispanic patients, she added.


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Contact: Kathy Neal
kcneal@unc.edu
919-740-5673
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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