Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among Latino women.1 In all counties except Dade county, Latino women have shown higher incidences of cervical cancer. In Los Angeles, rates have been more than twice that of whites.2, 3 These rates are even higher for immigrant women than for Latino women born in the United States.
The rates of cervical cancer are not accurate due to lack of information from minority groups such as Latinos. As a result, reported incidence rates do not reflect the population at large. Data on cervical cancer thus needs to be examined with caution. Methods of collecting data need to be improved keeping the demographics of the population in mind. There is a lot of research still being done on how to access more accurate data, inform women and reduce their incidence of cervical cancer. In the past few years, minority groups have been the group of interest and focus since most present data reflects White women.
Health care institutions have begun program reformation and implementation to better educate minority groups on specific health care issues. We need to continue improving our communication with minority groups. They need to learn more about their susceptibilities and ways to reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer. The preventive methods are there. We, however, need to find a ways of communicating them and making them accessible to more women.
Prevention activities can be categorized at three levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary prevention includes identifying individual risk factors. Secondary prevention includes the necessary routine screenings regularly. Tertiary prevention includes the adequate treatment needed in order to halt the disease, decrease disability, and/or prevent further complications or death.4
Symptoms, Risks and Effects of Cervical Cancer
Latina Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer
More information on screenings from the University of Pennsylvania.
Stage IB: cancer has begun spreading to tissue around the cervix.
Stage IIA: Cancer has spread beyond the cervix to the upper 2/3 of the vagina.
Stage IIB: Cancer has spread to tissue around the cervix.
Stage IVA: Cancer has spread to the bladder or rectum
Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to faraway organs such as the lungs.
You can calculate your own risk at the Women's Cancer Network.
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|Stage 0||Treatment includes diathermy (heat), laser surgery, conization and cryosurgery||Prognosis of a cure is almost 100%|
|Stage IA/IB||Treatment includes conization, total or radical hysterectomy, and internal radiation||Prognosis of a cure is 85-90%|
|Stage IIA/IIB||Treatment includes internal/external radiation, radiation and chemotherapy, and clinical trials of new forms of surgery||Prognosis of a cure is 75-80%|
|Stage IIIA/IIIB||Treatment includes radiation therapy, radiation and chemotherapy, and clinical trials of new forms of surgery||Prognosis of a cure is approximately 50%|
|Stage IV||Treatment includes radiation therapy, radiation and chemotherapy, clinical trials of surgery and external radiation, and systemic chemotherapy||Prognosis of a cure is 30%|
More on treatments:
OncoLink: Treatment of Cervical Cancer
|This web page was developed by Marleni A. Figueroa to fulfill a requirement of the class CHI 21: Health Issues in the Chicano/Latino Community taught by Seline Szkupinski Quiroga in the Chicana & Chicano Studies Program at the University of California at Davis, Fall 1998.|