¡VIDA! The Seventh Annual Mujer Latina Breast Cancer Conference is Oct. 6

¡VIDA! The Seventh Annual Mujer Latina Breast Cancer Conference is Oct. 6

¡VIDA! The Seventh Annual Mujer Latina Breast Cancer Conference will be held at Apollo Community School with the addition of new workshops for men, including cancer prevention for men and when your loved one has cancer, and for adolescent girls, body image and cancer prevention, as well as an extensive educational program on breast health delivered in Spanish and English. Topics will include cancer screening, understanding risk factors, treatment options, and survivorship.

In collaboration with the Well Woman HealthCheck Program, the event hopes to bring together breast cancer survivors as well as all Latinas interested in learning more about breast health and breast cancer.

¡VIDA! The Seventh Annual Mujer Latina Breast Cancer Conference
• Saturday, Oct. 6, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Apollo Community School, 265 W. Nebraska St., Tucson
• Free admission, complimentary breakfast and lunch
• Advanced registration suggested at www.vida.arizona.edu or by calling (520) 626-0331 or e-mail avalencia@azcc.arizona.edu

The conference, founded and directed by Ana María López, MD, MPH, associate dean of outreach and multicultural affairs and professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona Cancer Center, has as its goal “to bring free bilingual breast health information to the Latino community,” says Dr. López. Although the incidence of breast cancer in Latinas appears to be lower than in non-Latinas in the United States, the rate appears to be increasing. Breast cancer has surpassed cervical cancer as the number one cancer killer of women.

Latinas have overall poorer outcomes from breast cancer. This may be related to multiple factors, many of which are present simultaneously: lack of screening, delay in presentation, fear, lack of health insurance, limited English proficiency, distrust of the health care system, lack of awareness of personal risk for breast cancer, fatalistic attitudes towards illness. Other social factors, such as lack of transportation, inability to take time off from work, and lack of childcare or elder care may contribute to poorer breast cancer outcomes among Latinas.

The conference hopes to emphasize risk awareness and early diagnosis as a means to improve survivorship. Says Dr. López, “Patients want to preserve their own health, want to preserve their family’s health, and want to preserve their community’s health. We must provide patients with the tools to support these goals.”

The conference is supported by The Southern Arizona Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Arizona Telemedicine Program, Well Woman HealthCheck Program, Laura Carrillo Breast Cancer Foundation, and El Rio Community Health Center.

To learn more, please visit the official ¡VIDA! website.

-Sept. 25, 2012