A recent study conducted by the American Cancer Society has revealed that cancer is a prominent cause of death among individuals of Hispanic heritage residing in the United States. In comparison to non-Hispanic white individuals, Hispanics and Latinos face a lower likelihood of being diagnosed with lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancers. To address this issue, Dr. Jesse Bracamonte, a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic, emphasizes the importance of preventive screenings in reducing these burdens.
Dr. Bracamonte highlights the increasing rates of colorectal and breast cancers within the Hispanic community as a concerning trend. A lack of preventive screening is believed to be one of the contributing factors. Cultural factors, limited access to healthcare, and previous negative experiences are also significant influences. However, proactive early screenings can prevent future serious health issues.
Various screening tests are available to detect conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and breast cancer. These tests include checking blood sugar levels for diabetes, assessing cholesterol and blood pressure for cardiovascular disease prevention, and conducting colon and breast cancer screenings. Dr. Bracamonte stresses the importance of discussing these options with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate preventive screenings and when to initiate them.
Notably, colon cancer screening is recommended for both men and women at the age of 45. Breast cancer screenings, such as mammograms, are particularly important for women in their 40s. To ensure a productive conversation with your doctor, it is advisable to come prepared with a list of questions regarding measures to maintain long-term health.
Dr. Bracamonte affirms that prevention is the key to ensuring a healthy future. By taking proactive steps and engaging in preventive screenings, individuals can reduce their risk of developing cancer and other diseases. It is essential for healthcare providers and patients to work collaboratively in order to address the healthcare disparities faced by Hispanic communities.
Citation: Mayo Clinic.