Take Charge

Cancer Screenings: Important Tips for Hispanics

September 26, 2016

Hispanic-Heritage-Month-640.jpg

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Moffitt Cancer Center offers some important cancer-screening tips for Hispanics. Throughout the year, we work with people of many culturally diverse backgrounds to promote healthy lifestyle choices. Ultimately, our goal is to improve cancer outcomes by either preventing these conditions entirely or detecting them in early stages, when more treatment options are typically available. We believe our efforts are especially important to the Hispanic community, which is currently the youngest, largest and fastest-growing minority group in the nation (based on U.S. Census Bureau figures).

For reasons that are not yet fully understood, certain types of cancer tend to affect Hispanics more than non-Hispanics. These include:

  • Cervical cancer – As compared to non-Hispanic women, Hispanic women have approximately double the risk of developing cervical cancer. Many experts believe this can be attributed to the fact that Hispanic women are less likely than their non-Hispanic counterparts to have regular Pap tests, which can detect cervical cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most curable.
  • Colorectal cancer – When colorectal cancer is diagnosed in Hispanics, the condition tends to be more advanced than it is when diagnosed in non-Hispanics. One possible reason is that Hispanics are less likely to receive basic colon-cancer screening tests for a number of reasons, including a lack of insurance or an inability to take time off from work.
  • Liver cancer – Hispanic men and women are twice as likely as non-Hispanics to develop and die from liver cancer. Among other things, increasing rates of obesity and diabetes among this population may be contributing factors.

Additionally, while both breast cancer and prostate cancer rates are lower among Hispanics than people of other races, statistics show that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to die from these conditions, even when diagnosed at similar stages. These differences may stem from varying access to effective treatment options.

Overall, many studies have confirmed that Hispanic Americans are less likely to be regularly screened for common cancers than their non-Hispanic counterparts. Because many of these cancers, such as breast and colorectal cancer, can be prevented or detected early through screening tests, the team at Moffitt continues to explore ways to educate the Hispanic community on the importance of cancer screening.

To learn more about the cancer screening services available at Moffitt, call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete our new patient registration form online. We welcome patients with and without referrals.