Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

New Report Ranks Top Cancer Issues for Hispanics


Inadequate access to cancer screening and care is the number one cancer issue for the nation’s 38 million Hispanics/Latinos, according to a report recently issued by Redes En Acción: The National Hispanic/Latino Cancer Network. The Southeast region is headquartered at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In its recommendations for a national Hispanic/Latino cancer control agenda, the Redes En Acción Latino Cancer Report ranks the cancer issues of greatest relevance to this country’s Latino population as follows: 1) access to cancer screening and care, 2) tobacco use and cancer, 3) status and communication of cancer risk, 4) association of infectious agents with certain types of cancer, and 5) cancer survivorship and health-related quality of life.

Access to care is a particularly significant problem for Latinos. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos are uninsured at a rate more than three times higher than non-Hispanic whites (32.4% vs. 10.7%).

The Latino Cancer Report includes a series of research recommendations for priority issues, as well as education, training and outreach recommendations for cancer prevention and control. In addition, the report lists the most important cancer sites, in order of their significance to Latinos, as: 1) breast, 2) cervical, 3) lung, 4) colorectal, 5) prostate, 6) liver, and 7) stomach.

“This report will prioritize Hispanic/Latino cancer issues and address health disparities,” said Frank J. Penedo, Ph.D., Redes En Acción, (Southeast Region) Co-Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor, UM/Sylvester. “Although Hispanics account for about 13% of the U.S. population, Hispanic/Latino participation in clinical trials is less than 4%. The report highlights many cancer-related issues that directly affect Hispanics, but more importantly, it offers effective strategies to combat these disparities.”

The consensus recommendations in the Latino Cancer Report are intended to help shape a national agenda on Hispanic/Latino cancer prevention and control issues. More specifically, the aim of the report is to assist Redes En Acción in its goals of promoting Hispanic/Latino cancer research, training and public education, as well as provide advisory guidelines for national, regional and local policy makers.

The Latino Cancer Report represents four years of research and prioritization and the input of hundreds of scientists, health care professionals, leaders of government agencies and professional and community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in Hispanic/Latino health. The process included participation by Redes En Acción’s National Steering Committee and six Regional Community Advisory Committees, and a survey of 624 key opinion leaders in Hispanic/Latino communities throughout the country.

“Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing minority population in the United States,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Redes En Acción Principal Investigator and Associate Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “As this population expands and ages, it is imperative that the resources and strategies employed in the war against cancer be targeted as precisely as possible for maximum effect.

“Redes En Acción believes this Latino Cancer Report will provide a useful tool for all individuals and organizations engaged in this effort.”

Redes En Acción is a major Special Populations Networks initiative supported by the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities of the National Cancer Institute. The primary purpose is to create a national and regional infrastructure for collaboration among grassroots leaders, local communities, researchers and public health professionals to stimulate cancer control research, training and awareness. Through network activities, Redes En Acción is establishing training and research opportunities for Latino students and researchers, generating research projects on key cancer issues impacting Latinos and supporting cancer awareness activities.

UM/Sylvester was founded in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at the University of Miami School of Medicine. UM/Sylvester handles more than 1,100 inpatient admissions annually, performs 2,800 surgical procedures, and treats 2,900 new cancer patients. All UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, UM/Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in 150 clinical trials and receive more than $30 million annually in research grants. UM/Sylvester at Deerfield Beach recently opened to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. This 10,000 square-foot facility at I-95 and S.W. 10th Street offers appointments with physicians from six cancer specialties, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events.

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