Better breast health for Latinas
Briant said four nonprofits participated in the workshops this year, which have proved an effective means to get public health messages out to underserved communities.
“We have repeatedly heard about the importance of culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials to help patients understand information about cancer screening and prevention,” she said.
The Carol Milgard Breast Center project, led by CMBC financial aid coordinator Kendra Lopez and facilitated by Fred Hutch mentor Dr. Rachel Ceballos, will do just that, tackling the high cancer burden and low screening rates among Latina women in Pierce County.
“Currently, our outreach efforts in the African-American community are making great strides in increasing the knowledge of breast health and education regarding screening recommendations,” the group wrote in its proposal. “Our goal now is to expand our outreach efforts to engage Latinas who because of social aspects and cultural barriers are at great risk of not adhering to screening guidelines.”
To this end, the HDRC will work to establish a partnership with the Latina community to increase breast health awareness. Through Spanish language educational materials, surveys and questionnaires and one-on-one interviews, they hope to educate Latinas age 40 and older regarding the risks associated with breast cancer and empower these women to take control over their non-hereditary cancer risks by, for example, encouraging smoking cessation and increased exercise. Ultimately the goal is to improve screening rates and reduce cancer risk and incidence in the region.
”It’s exciting that a breast center is taking the initiative to work with the Hispanic community to learn about how to best engage women from this community in breast health awareness,” Briant said.