Looking for English or Spanish version of the infographic? Scroll down to the bottom of this post!
Whether your peeps are from Central or South America, Puerto Rico or Mexico, I want you to listen closely my lovely Latina chicas! I’m worried about you. Always, putting everyone’s needs before your own. You are sooooo busy caring for your family, working long hours, and looking after your dude. What about YOU? You are just as important and there is nothing wrong with taking a little time for your own damn self. You are strong, capable, valuable and in order to be healthy it is time to take matters into your own hands.
J.Lo., Shakira, Ednita Nazario, Selena Gomez. These Latina’s are doing something right don’tcha think? Culturally Latina’s do many things “right” in terms of preventing and lowering the risk of breast cancer: protective factors like early and multiple pregnancies, low dietary fat intake, and staying physically active. There are many other prevention strategies that can be found on our website that will lower your risk too.
First things, first, lets get to know the cold hard facts about your breast health.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Latinas.
- Latina’s seem to get breast cancer at younger ages.
- Breast Cancer is the number 1 cause of cancer death in Hispanic Women.
- Latinas are more likely than whites to be diagnosed at a later stage (meaning when the cancer is more advanced and harder to treat).
- Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and South and Central Americans have been shown to have lower survival rates for breast cancer.
You may have grown up thinking certain things about your breasts or breast cancer. After talking to several young Latina breast cancer survivors, I think it is important to clear up some of the most common myths that might be stopping you from caring for yourself.
- Feeling your own breasts DOES NOT increases the risk of breast cancer. Becoming familiar with your own body helps you notice changes.
- Having sex with multiple partners DOES NOT increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Breast lumps are not always cancer. Actually 85% are not breast cancer.
- Nipple discharge is a symptom that needs to be investigated by a doctor.
- Your husband/boyfriend will not love you less if you get breast cancer. If that happens, he is not worthy of you.
- There are free mammogram, transportation to screenings, and ways to get childcare covered so you can make your health a priority.
- God does not punish people by giving them cancer.
- Women should start getting mammograms at age 40. This is to screen for something that you might not feel yourself.
It’s a proven fact that Hispanic women are less likely to be screened for breast cancer than other races but now that you are informed, I believe we can turn this trend around. Breast Self Exam, Clinical Breast Exam, and Mammography are the three most prominent screening techniques.
Breast Self Exam is just that, examining your own breasts. We highly recommend checking your breasts once a month about 3-5 days after your period ends. Download our free Check Your Self card here.
Worried about the cost of clinical breast exams or mammograms? There are free and low cost programs in every state. Check out: National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for details. Planned Parenthood is another great place to start.
So skip the “I’m too busy” talk, tequila shots, and Coronas and pass on a little Latina love by encouraging your sister, mama, or tia to check herself too.