Cecilia Rosales Ph.D.

It’s good to be aware

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This October, as we observe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are proud to partner with the Phoenix affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to remind our readers that regular breast cancer screenings and early detection can save lives. 

In the U.S. each year, about 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. According to the latest figures of the American Cancer Society, while non-Hispanic white women develop breast cancer at higher rates than Latina/Hispanic women, Latinas tend to be diagnosed with larger tumors and late-stage breast cancer, thus increasing their chances of dying from the disease. Their five-year survival rate is 86 percent compared to 91 percent for white women. 

But why? It may be a combination of factors, like the lack of access to health care or the lack of information and education. And we all have a role to play in increasing awareness about breast health. Talk to the women in your life about self-examinations, clinical breast exams and the different screening options available, depending on each woman’s age and risk level. If you are unsure about your risk level, talk to your doctor or a health professional you trust. Reading Anel Vizcarra Marquez’s My Perspective on page 58 will remind you that twenty-somethings can get breast cancer, too. 

I remember once talking to a friend’s mother who, at 65, vehemently refused to get a mammogram, a pap smear, or a checkup of any kind. She sternly told me that only her late husband was allowed to see her or touch her “ahí.”  I know she’s not alone. 

Read on and visit komenphoenix.org to learn more and get involved.

While on the topic of health and disease prevention, this month we devote our Health department to HIV/AIDS, as October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. 

Once again, the statistics and disparities are not encouraging: Latino men and women are diagnosed with AIDS at rates three and four times higher than their white non-Hispanic counterparts and account for about 205,000 cases of the approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. today. 

Apropos, we say bravo to our friends at the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS – later this month they’ll hold a groundbreaking ceremony of their new location and Center for Health, Education and Community Wellness. Their new 60,000-square-foot facility will be on the corner of Portland Street and Central Avenue in Phoenix, in the building formerly occupied by Channel 12.

Lastly, we invite you to check out latinopm.com and sign up to receive our digital flipbook edition via email. In this month’s digital edition, City of Phoenix mayoral candidates Greg Stanton and Wes Gullett, and Phoenix City Council District 5 candidates Brenda Sperduti and Daniel Valenzuela share their perspectives as they prepare for the November 8 runoff election. Find these guest opinion editorials and more in My Perspective. 

Hasta la próxima.  

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