With the Susan G. Komen Foundation recently in the news for their controversial decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood clinics that provide breast cancer screening and other health-related services to the public (which they have since apologized for and will revise the policy), we thought it was important for us to highlight some organizations around the country who specifically dedicate themselves to serving the Latino community when it comes to education and support for the cancer patient.
While February 4th is the official World Cancer Day, we think every day should be dedicated to education and awareness of this disease. There are many facts and figures out there, but one thing is for certain; there are more than 200,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year in the United States and breast cancer is the most common cancer among Hispanic/Latina women. Some of these organizations listed are local and others are national, but all will be able to provide you with valuable information should you or a loved one need help and support during a difficult time.
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Latinas Contra Cancer offers support services and resources for the Latino cancer patient and their families. Targeting the underserved Spanish speaking community, they work with smaller agencies around the country to provide education and patient navigation. Partnering with health care institutions to fill a void that may exist in cultural programs, Latinas Contra Cancer works to link together services nationwide for the cancer patient.
Dia de la Mjuer Latina has taken on the task to help bridge the gap in the access of health care for the medically underserved. Their mission is summed up by Venus Gines, CEO/Founder, who states, "our mission is to motive, inform, navigate and empower communities at-risk in a culturally and linguistically proficient manner. DML's signature health and wellness fiesta facilitates early detection screening to breast and cervical cancer plus other health challenges, i.e. diabetes, hypertension, obesity and HIV. Our Promotores are community-based navigators, trained to educate and navigate on health screening and ongoing care and patient case management.”
Redes En Accion has developed a national cancer network that engages in cancer research, training and awareness activities to reduce the impact of cancer on the Latino community. Through community-based organizations, research institutions and government health agencies, they have developed community outreach programs and implemented cancer prevention and control strategies tailored to Latinos around the country.
Circulo de Vida is located in the San Francisco Bay area providing an invaluable service to Latinos living with cancer. They also offer many support groups that provide a safe place in which individuals with similar medical conditions can assist one another with support, understanding and encouragement, and provide an extended family unit to rely on when their cancer or its treatment reaches a critical stage.
The Latina Breast Cancer Agency is a community-based agency for Latinas in the San Francisco Bay Area working to reduce the economic, language and cultural barriers to quality health care. They serve to educate and provide emotional support to those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
!Viva! Mujer Latina, based in Lake County, Illinois is a breast cancer patient and survivor program offered by the YWCA of Lake County's ENCOREplus Program for Spanish speaking Latinas to share their experiences and offer support. You can join their Facebook page here.