Outreach Efforts Needed To Address Prevention, Early Detection of Cancer Among Hispanics, Cancer Expert Says
Increasing outreach efforts domestically and internationally could help prevent and detect cancer earlier among Hispanics, Margie Gerena-Lewis, a cancer expert at the University of Cincinnati's Barrett Cancer Center, said on Friday at the National Hispanic Medical Association annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Gerena-Lewis was part of a panel discussing chronic health issues that affect Hispanics (O'Farrell, Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/24). She said that the rapidly growing Hispanic population in the U.S. highlights an "urgent need for a national health agenda on cancer prevention and education that spans both developed and developing countries," HULIQ.com reports (HULIQ.com, 3/24). She also said that poor nutrition, poverty, tobacco use and lack of knowledge about infectious diseases all contribute to preventable cancer deaths among Hispanics. In addition, many Hispanics are unable to access cancer screening services -- such as mammograms, Pap tests and prostate-specific-antigen tests. Gerena-Lewis said, "The lack of resources often means they haven't received preventive cancer screening exams, and they come to public health clinics with more advanced, difficult-to-treat cancers" (Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/24). According to Gerena-Lewis, Spanish-speaking U.S. physicians need to establish community-based education initiatives about cancer risks and lifestyle changes. "We must develop a global initiative that enables physicians to intervene and educate the Hispanic population about their health and reduce the number of people dying from preventable cancers," she said, adding, "More Hispanics enter the United States every day, so this isn't an issue we can continue to ignore. It will impact our public health system" (HULIQ.com, 3/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.