Report finds higher risk of cancer for Latinos in Pennsylvania
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 09.15.16
(Harrisburg) -- A recent report says cancer is more prevalent in Latinos in Pennsylvania than other ethnic groups.
Latinos in the state are nearly one and a half times more likely to get cancer than non-Latinos.
And the risks go up even higher for some individual cancers - like skin and esophogeal cancers, and non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
But the report finds Latinos don't just face a higher risk for getting cancer - they often are getting diagnosed later than others.
Dr. Oralia Garcia Dominic is one of the Penn State researchers that put together the report and works at the health insurer Highmark.
She says fewer Latinos get colorectal cancer, but when they do, it's more deadly.
"Do they feel it's important to get screened for cancer? Do they perceive colorectal cancer as a perceived threat or perceived risk that they may be facing?" she says.
Dominic says cultural differences and access to care may account for the differences.
"But there are some populations that are medically underserved. And those barriers to access to care and to cultural competency and the doctor patient relationship and communication all play into a role," says Dominic.
She wants policy makers to think about how to reduce those barriers and make health care more equal for everyone.
Published in Healthcare Transformation