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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Breast Cancer: You May Never Know Until You Ask the Question

07/02/2014 04:48pm | 18819 views

One of the coolest things about science is the endless number of questions that can be asked about something, and the resulting pursuit of answers.

When doctors and scientists saw that women in certain families were diagnosed with breast cancer far more often than they’d expect, they looked into whether cancer risk could be inherited. Those questions eventually led to the discovery of two genes in the 1990s — BRCA1 and BRCA2 — that changed how the medical world looks at cancer risk. Inherited mutations in these genes can dramatically increase the chances of developing breast and ovarian cancers.

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Raising Latina Awareness of Breast Cancer Risk and Prevention Means Understanding Their Cultural Values

21/10/2013 10:44am | 10997 views

Dr. Weitzel's multidisciplinary clinical and research program emphasizes the recognition and assessment of people at increased risk for developing cancer because of family cancer history or personal risk factor.

As Hispanics continue their population surge across the U.S., it becomes more and more evident how underserved the community is – whether in business, politics or the media. However, being underserved by the healthcare industry carries higher, often deadly, stakes. For Latinas in particular, there’s one area where we can and should be doing a whole lot more understanding and outreach. 

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Largest Study To Date of U.S. Hispanic Breast/Ovarian Cancer Confirms High Prevalence of BRCA Mutations

28/03/2014 09:46am | 9375 views

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Hispanic women and the leading cause of cancer death. Although there is less incidence of breast cancer in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites, our initial studies on the prevalence of deleterious BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations suggest there may be a higher proportion of breast cancer in Hispanics – the fastest growing group in the United States, already comprising 15.1% of the population. 

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Q&A with Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel: Research Addresses Genetic Mutations and Disparities in Latina Breast Care (Part 1)

01/02/2015 11:37am | 7360 views

By Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Dr. Jeffery Weitzel is Division Chief of Clinical Cancer Genetics at City of Hope in California as well as a Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) grantee since 2013. At City of Hope, Dr. Weitzel leads a clinical, research and training program that emphasizes translational research in genomic cancer risk assessment, chemoprevention, targeted therapy, clinical and psychosocial outcomes, genetic epidemiology and health services in underserved minorities. For over a decade, he has been interested in hereditary cancer in Latin America with the aim of increasing awareness of inherited risk and access to screening and prevention. As part of its partnership with Healthy Hispanic Living, BCRF recently spoke with Dr. Weitzel about his work in the Latina community, both in the U.S. and Latin America, and asked for his insight on new discoveries that are helping us to understand the role of genetics in breast cancer risk for Hispanic women.

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Research Finds Important Breast Cancer Link in Hispanic Women

04/03/2015 03:11am | 8401 views

Hispanic women typically have fewer incidences of breast cancer when compared to non-Hispanic white women; however, when they are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is usually an aggressive form or in the advanced stages of disease. Now, researchers have found a link among Hispanic and non-Hispanic black women when it comes to breast cancer and obesity.

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About the Author

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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.