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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

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.

At least one person killed, 99 missing after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

A massive search-and-rescue operation is underway after a portion of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: Officials have accounted for 102 people who lived in the high-rise Champlain Towers South, but 99 people remained unaccounted for by midafternoon, said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Biden strikes infrastructure deal with bipartisan group of senators

President Biden announced Thursday that he had agreed to a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan with a bipartisan group of ten senators, declaring: "We have a deal."

Why it matters: The agreement on the size and scope of an infrastructure package is a major achievement for Biden, who has long been a proponent of bipartisanship, but the compromise still faces serious hurdles in the House and Senate.