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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. Latinas is breast cancer, and it's their leading cause of cancer-related death, research published in the journal Cancer Control found.

Why it matters: "While they are less likely to get breast cancer than other ethnic groups, Hispanic women who are diagnosed are 20% more likely than white women to die from the disease," the Baltimore Sun writes.

The big picture: Despite evidence that Latinas have the second-highest prevalence of the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, their awareness of hereditary cancer risks and genetic testing is low, Susan M. Domchek, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, writes, limiting their options for early treatment.

What's happening: The Latino community is more likely to have difficulties accessing health care and insurance, making it harder to access medical counseling, referrals and testing services.

  • A 2017 study found that cultural beliefs can influence whether Latinas decide to prolong delays when seeking "preventive services or timely follow-up for breast symptoms regardless of access."
    • Almost 50% of the women who participated in the study said they believed "Faith in God can protect you from breast cancer."
  • The lower incidence of breast cancer among Latinas can also lead to the misconception that they should not worry about the disease, according to the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for breast cancer research.
  • For those who only speak Spanish, there are fewer resources than in English. The Oncology Nursing Society recommends diversifying the workforce to increase the number of Spanish-speaking counselors.

By the numbers: A National Cancer Society survey conducted between 2018 and 2020 found that 61% of Hispanic women over the age of 40 reported getting a mammogram compared to 65% of white women in the same age group.

  • Research conducted in Texas found that 21.3% of Hispanic patients younger than 50 developed advanced breast cancer, compared to 13.5% for non-Hispanic patients.

Worth noting: The overall breast cancer mortality rate for Hispanic women is 13.8 per 100,000, fewer than Black (27.5 per 100,000) or white women (19.4 per 100,000), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But, but, but: Breast cancer affects the Latino community differently depending on ethnicity. Puerto Ricans and Mexicans are more likely to die from the disease than other Hispanic women, USA Today reports.

  • The mortality rate for Puerto Rican women with breast cancer in the U.S. is 19.04 per 100,000 women. For Mexicans, it is 18.78 per 100,000.
  • In comparison, the rate for Central and South American women is 10.15 per 100,000.

The bottom line: "Unless we can gain momentum with more discussion and education about breast cancer and more research into specific causes and prevention of breast cancer in Hispanics, the mortality rate could soon surpass that of non-Hispanic whites," said Susan Love, founder of the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for breast cancer research.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
20 mins ago - Science

A new NASA astronaut corps for the next era in space

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA's next crewed missions to the Moon will need a larger, differently-trained and multi-skilled astronaut corps to deliver on the agency's ambitions.

Why it matters: NASA has plans to fly astronauts to the surface of the Moon in 2025 and ultimately establish a long-term presence there. That goal requires a robust corps with new, specialized training in what it takes to live and work on the Moon — and NASA needs to start planning now.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Distrust in political, media and business leaders sweeps the globe

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Trust in government is collapsing, especially in democracies, according to a new global survey.

Why it matters: People also don't think media or business leaders are telling them the truth, and this suspicion of multiple societal institutions is pushing people into smaller, more insular circles of trust.