15 Sep It’s Hispanic Heritage Month—Rate of Latina late-stage breast cancer and mortality rates decreased in San Diego!
Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct.15, calls for a time to honor and recognize the Hispanic and Latinx American culture. No matter where we are in the world we remind each other we are connected by a vibrant community like no other. We want to encourage you and your loved ones to keep up with your health, prioritize a healthy lifestyle and know your risk.
When it comes to breast cancer, findings show Hispanic women may have a higher number of barriers to getting screening mammography than women of other ethnicities , barriers such as, low income, lack of awareness of breast cancer, fear of bad news or pain from the procedure, and/or lack of access to care, just to name a few.
For almost fifteen years, Susan G. Komen San Diego has focused much of its work to eliminate any breast cancer disparities in the Latinx community in San Diego County. In collaboration with partners and grantees, Komen has worked to ensure access to free breast health services and support such as education, outreach, mammograms, diagnostics, meal delivery, transportation, patient navigation, and temporary financial aid. To access our free services, click here.
Komen San Diego has also made sure the Latinx community’s voice is heard in Sacramento. Earlier this year we had a huge legislative win by removing treatment caps through the State-funded Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program. In 2016, Komen successfully advocated for a change in the law in California to allow individuals under 40 years of age who are experiencing a concern, to have access to screenings and to re-enroll in treatment programs after a recurrence – because breast cancer doesn’t know a minimum age and can come back at any time.
Due to collective efforts, we have now seen the rate of Latina late-stage breast cancer and mortality rates decrease, so much that they are now among the lowest in San Diego County.
Since 2000, the Hispanic death rate from breast cancer in San Diego has decreased from 14.04 to 9.94 in 2011. 
Komen San Diego will continue to use culturally appropriate education and peer-to-peer education where these women live, work, shop, pray or play to continue this good work in the community.
Spread the word. No matter where you are in life, the time is now to utilize resources in the community to guide you and care for you through the breast cancer healthcare continuum. Call us at (858) 573-2760 for any tips or advice in breast cancer health and support.
Studies show Hispanic women have lower rates of breast cancer and breast cancer mortality compared to black/non-Hispanic black and white/non-Hispanic white women [103,119-120]. However, breast cancer is still the most common cancer (and the leading cause of cancer death) among Hispanic/Latina women . So, screening in these women is just as important as it is for African-American and white women.
Hispanic/Latina women tend to be diagnosed with more advanced breast cancers than white women . This may be due to lower mammography rates as well as more delays in follow-up after an abnormal mammogram .
Known risk factors that vary by race and ethnicity include [239-243]:
- Age at first period
- Age at menopause
- Age at first childbirth
- Body weight
- Number of childbirths
- Menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormone use)
For example, compared to Hispanic/Latina women and Black/non-Hispanic black/African-American women, white/non-Hispanic white women are more likely to have children at a later age and to have fewer children [10,239,241-243]. Each of these factors increases breast cancer risk .
Learn more about rates of breast cancer by race and ethnicity.
The lifetime risk (up to age 95 and older) of breast cancer for women in the U.S. is 12 percent . However, this risk varies by race and ethnic group.