publication date: Jan. 10, 2020

Trials & Tribulations

Advancing the science of cancer in Latinos

Amelie Ramirez

Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH

Chair, Department of Population Health Sciences
Professor of epidemiology and biostatistics
The Dielmann Chair in Health Disparities Research and Community Outreach
Director, Institute for Health Promotion Research
UT Health San Antonio


Dr. Ruben Mesa, new UT Health director

Ruben Mesa, MD

Director, Mays Cancer Center and the Mays Family Foundation
Distinguished University Presidential Chair,
UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson


Having cancer as a Latino in the United States has important implications potentially related to risk of carcinogenesis, knowledge of cancer prevention, access to cancer screening, therapy timing and choices, and access to good supportive/palliative or survivorship care.

Projections show a staggering 142% rise in cancer cases among Latinos by 2030 (Smith et al., Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2009). Also, breast cancers are more aggressive in Latinas, and Latino children are more likely to die of childhood cancers than their white counterparts (Kehm et al., Cancer, 2018).

On one hand, Latinos face cultural barriers to primary health care, cancer health care, and preventative screenings, and cancer risk factors like obesity, access to healthy foods, and certain infectious disease agents.

On the other hand, Latinos also are underrepresented in clinical studies, and research data consistently fail to reflect the … Continue reading Advancing the science of cancer in Latinos

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