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National Women's Health Week

This week is National Women’s Health Week, a time to empower women to make their health a priority by educating them on steps they can take towards achieving a healthier lifestyle, as well as providing resources for preventive screenings.

The CDC recently released the first national study of Latino health and wellness, “¡A la Buena Salud! – To Good Health!.” The report noted that although Latinos have a 49% lower incidence of cancer than whites, cancer is still the leading cause of death for Latinos. For Latina women, breast cancer is the leading diagnosed cancer. Although, Latinas have a lower incident of breast cancer than women of other racial groups, it is still the leading cause of cancer deaths for Latinas. Latinas are 20% more likely to die from breast cancer than non- Latinas diagnosed at the same age and stage of cancer. It estimated that about 1,600 deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur this year. The high rate of cancer deaths among Latinas is greatly due to limited knowledge of the United States health system, cultural barriers, fear of repercussions due to immigration status and lack of access to medical insurance.

In an effort to combat the high mortality rate of Latinas associated with breast cancer Mujeres’ Promotoras de Salud have been organizing presentations to raise breast cancer awareness at the Ventanilla de Salud and in community settings throughout the Chicagoland area. This 18 month campaign funded through the Illinois Department of Public Health has helped train women to conduct breast self-examinations and educated them on the risks of breast cancer to help increase the early detection of breast cancer, especially in women over the age of 50.  Mujeres has also connected women to Access Community Health Networks to access to free mammograms through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). Unfortunately, the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program is facing severe budget cuts that would result in 12,000 fewer women receiving subsidized cancer screenings in FY16. According to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, a partnering cancer organization, IBCCP detected 727 invasive breast cancers and 1,490 cervical cancers and precancerous lesions between 2007 and 2012. 

If you would like to preserve critical access to life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income, uninsured, and undocumented women, please join the Responsible Budget Coalition’s efforts to maintain funding for essential human services.Take Action Now 

If you are interested in finding out more information about Mujeres Latinas en Accion’s work on Breast Cancer Prevention or are interested in hosting a presentation, please contact Bertha Morin (773) 890-7672 or bmorin@mujereslat.org 

For more information about how to apply for subsidized mammograms through the Access Community Health Network please contact Erica Ruiz at (312) 526-2256. 

Source: Newswise


May 13, 2015 | 3:55 PM