By Hope Gillette, Huffington Post Latino Voices

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) suggested women receive too many mammograms, thus increasing their likelihood for misdiagnosis and unneeded treatments.

For Hispanic women, however, preventative care when it comes to breast cancer is often overlooked, leading to later diagnoses and a higher mortality rate.

Socioeconomic factors and lack of access to health care further hinder Latinas from receiving adequate screenings.

“Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic women…,” explains the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program. “Some of the factors that increase risk of breast cancer (age, family history, later age at first full term pregnancy, early menarche, and late menopause) are not modifiable. Other factors such as post-menopausal obesity, use post-menopausal hormones, alcohol consumption, and physical inactivity are potentially modifiable.”

Despite the disparity seen between Hispanic women and other ethnic groups when it comes to mammograms and other breast cancer screenings, the NEJM study has suggested mammography procedures should be re-evaluated based on the issue of overtreatment for non-life threatening tumors.

Current recommendations suggest women over 40 receive screenings every 2 years. For Hispanic women, changing recommendations may mean an even more significant delay in screening procedures.

“We’re coming to learn that some cancers — many cancers, depending on the organ — weren’t destined to cause death,” Dr. Barnett Kramer, a National Cancer Institute screening expert, reported the Associated Press. However, “once a woman is diagnosed, it’s hard to…


This article was first published in Huffington Post Latino Voices.

[Photo by TipsTimes]

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