CANCER IN THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY IS RISING AT AN ALARMING RATE. U.S. CENSUS BUREAU DATA ESTIMATES THAT IT ACCOUNTS FOR 22 PERCENT OF DEATHS IN THE U.S. HISPANIC POPULATION, MAKING THE INCIDENCE OF CANCER THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AND AN ISSUE IN DIRE NEED OF ATTENTION.
In order to increase awareness of early detection and the latest in treatments, Cancer Treatment Centers of America[R] (CTCA) has created the Hispanic Advisory Council (HAC). This group of influential business and medical leaders is tasked with engaging and educating Hispanic cancer patients, caregivers and their families by sharing insights, experiences and resources.
Council members represent a diverse repertoire of highly respected organizations and influential leaders from industries that include business, health care, philanthropy and community advocacy," said Rev. Luis Cortes, the HAC's first chairman and president and CEO of Esperanza, an organization dedicated to empowering Hispanic communities through education, economic development and advocacy.
As part of its national outreach efforts, the HAC has held thought leader forums in major cities across the country in order to share what cancer is, how to prevent it and treatment options available. The forums, better known as Por Vida events, create conversations about local community educational and awareness efforts in the fight against cancer.
HAC meetings feature clinicians who discuss inroads in cancer research and prevention. Perhaps the most poignant part of the HAC meetings, though, is the exchange between Latino CTCA[R] patients and Council members. These stories are filled with anecdotes that tout the excellent care provided by CTCA care teams, from nurses and physicians to nutritionists and pain specialists.
"It has been a learning experience. We have found a community that is far behind in both knowledge and access to quality health care," said Cortes. "Our hope is to close that gap as quickly and efficiently as possible and to increase cancer prevention and treatment awareness among Hispanic families."
Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), said she has been impressed with Latino patients' positive feedback about the supportive experience for patients and their families at CTCA, as well as the cultural understanding by CTCA physicians and staff.
Through her role, Rios brings influential CTCA speakers to NHMA's annual conference with the goal of engaging in...