authour image

A Disproportionate Burden of Risk

For patients that carry the BRCA mutation, the chance of developing breast cancer ranges from 57% to 85% lifetime risk. Initial studies suggest a higher proportion of late stage breast cancer when there is less early detection and screening.

item image

Information That Can Bring Peace of Mind

Did you know your risk of inheriting the BRCA gene mutation if it runs in your family is only 50%? You have just as much chance of finding out that you don’t have it, which will spare you from the worry of not knowing and more frequent screenings.

item image

Performing Breast Self-Exams

Enhancing your breast self-exam skills and performing them regularly will increase your self-awareness and self-advocacy – and is particularly advantageous for young, high-risk Latinas who put this into practice from an early age.

item image

Early Detection and Screening Are Critical for Latinas

In one study, 25% of Latinas with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer had the BRCA gene mutation – which brings significant increase in risk for these types of cancers.

item image

Your Heritage is Hereditary

Don’t be blindsided healthwise because of incomplete family cancer history reporting – often the case in immigrant populations separated from multi-generational and extended family, or influenced by cultural mores about sharing health issues.

item image

Participating Latinas Express a Dedication to Engagement

City of Hope’s bilingual / bicultural cancer risk counselors and clinicians bridge cultural barriers, speak the language, and work as a team to earn your trust as “significant other” caregivers.

item image

Research Breakthroughs

City of Hope and Dr. Jeffery Weitzel’s breakthrough Latina Breast Cancer research and preventive protocols have paved the way for new discoveries.

item image

Breast Cancer in Latinas: An interview with Dr. Chavez Mac Gregor

15/10/2015 12:00pm | 7583 views

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among Latinas.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, even though Latinas are less likely than non-Hispanic white women to develop this condition, breast cancer in Latinas is typically found during the most advanced stages, when it is more difficult to treat.

read more

Betting to Win: Survivor Story, Part 3

16/09/2015 06:00am | 17611 views

In parts 1 and 2, Silvia revealed her diagnosis and talked about her surgery and subsequent treatment.

Chemo and radiation were the right choice for me, I’m not sure if I would be in remission for 15 years without it.  But I also made the choice not to do any reconstructive surgery.  Although at the time I felt incomplete and was very self-conscious about my body, somewhere along the way that changed.   As the years have gone by the deformity is like a medal of honor.   I thought I would be embarrassed going to a gym or a spa.  But I actually don’t care if I have a deformity.  If someone asks me, I am happy to share my journey.  I want my journey to be worthwhile.  If someone notices one of my breasts is not whole, then maybe they will ask about it, and maybe they will talk about it with their mothers, daughters, or sisters.   If it encourages one person to do a self-exam or make that dreaded mammogram appointment, I have made a difference. 

read more

Stacking the Deck: Survivor Story, Part 2

09/09/2015 10:52am | 9118 views

In part 1 of this series, Silvia talked about being diagnosed with breast cancer and how it affected her, her family and friends.

After the surgery, we received the good news: my lymph nodes were negative, and there was no indication the cancer had metastasized. I was given treatment options,  and in a short time, I knew more about medical treatment and breast cancer than I ever thought I would.  I took my daughters and sisters along for the learning. Our family became a breast cancer awareness family.  We talked about it, we read about it, and we became active participants in my recovery.  My choices for treatment were radiation without chemotherapy or both regimens.  I opted for the chemotherapy and radiation, as the  chances for a re-occurrence were lower; once again, I wanted to stack the deck in my favor. 

read more

Genetic Tests May Miss BRCA Mutations in Latinas, Study Says

04/09/2015 06:00am | 10768 views

Many diseases are caused by both genetic and environmental factors, but for many breast and ovarian cancers, mutations in the BRCA genes drastically shift the blame to genetics. Women with these mutations face a five- to 30-fold increased risk of developing such cancers – compared to women without the mutations – and their risk of developing breast cancer can be as high as 85 percent over their lifetime.

read more

The Cards you are Dealt: Survivor Story, Part 1

02/09/2015 10:08am | 9107 views

As a child and young woman my family never discussed cancer; maybe we were fortunate not to have had a reason to or just simply it was the belief that if you do not discuss cancer you won’t get it. The only illnesses discussed were the heart-attacks my grandmother claimed we gave her every time my sisters and I did something to annoy her. When I mentioned to my mother that I had discovered a hard spot on my breast, she said, “Yeah, it is probably from breast -feeding, not letting your milk dry out right.” Several years, many biopsies, and several opinions later the once benign breast lump was diagnosed as stage 2 breast cancer.

read more

About the Author

author image

Latina Breast Cancer Awareness

A Passionate Pursuit for Prevention

January 20, 2015:  Campaign Press Release

February 25, 2015:  Campaign Press Release

Call to Action:   Get Educated

Healthy Hispanic Living aims to provide real-life solutions and tips from our team of physicians and thought-leaders to inspire Hispanics and their families to lead healthier lives. Promoting and encouraging preventive care, HHL is focused on delivering the required in-culture educational tools and resources that empower Hispanics to take action in support of their overall health and well-being.


Research shows that Hispanics are susceptible to certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Every 90 days, our goal is to feature a specific disease so that together as a community we can begin to collectively become more knowledgeable about prevention, how to explore the right treatments and navigate the conversations with our doctors, and learn from the experiences of others on our journey to self-advocacy for ourselves and our families.

Latina Breast Cancer Awareness will be our educational outreach and preventative care mission, February 1 – April 30, 2015. Our call to action is to inspire Latinas to:

1. Become better educated about the breakthrough research that is taking place to help Latinas understand they are not alone – that physicians like City of Hope’s Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel and others are working for them to make preventive care easier and more accessible.

2. Share their personal stories, their own journeys, in a safe environment that encourages Latinas throughout the world to come together as one. Our intent is to awaken Latina leadership and unveil their generous purpose and cultural promise to forge a movement that breaks down barriers to healthcare access and propels action to prevention and treatment.

3. Take the initiative to get screened. Our goal is for 1 million Latinas to come together and lead by example in order to fuel more research, awareness and outreach efforts for the community. Latinas banding together will multiply their influence and the opportunities to advance the fight against breast cancer.