Spreading breast cancer awareness among Hispanic women

Published: Sep. 18, 2015 at 2:59 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2016 at 3:12 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - September is Hispanic Heritage month.That is a perfect time to talk about a new study aimed at making the Hispanic population more aware of special risks for breast cancer in that ethnic group.

Dr. Candy Arentz,  a surgical Oncologist, was the lead investigator for Lubbock in a study organized by the National Institutes of Health. She explains, "Of the 120 patients across the country who were included in the new NIH study, 90 of them were from West Texas and of those 90 women of the 120 total, we found 6 new breast cancer mutations of the Brca 1 and 2. These indicate that they are at an increased risk for causing breast cancer in the Hispanic population. Statistically, across the country, they weren't a very significant percentage, but we know they are more prevalent in Latinas. So that means that these people probably have the mutation which otherwise would have been counted as negative."

Dr. Arentz adds that a grant funded by Komen of Lubbock has opened the door to free genetic screening for uninsured women to find any of the mutations that we now know raise the risk for breast cancer. She also suggests that the YWCA OF Lubbock is a great place for women who need financial help in breast health. That agency has a program tin place o help women understand where to go for free mammography screening.  Then, the YWCA can act as a referral service to help them know where to go next if they need but can not afford further testing or treatment.

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