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Valenzuela, Carlos A

Articles by Valenzuela, Carlos A

Latino Health and HPV

The Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to serious health problems, such as cervical cancer. It is the most commonly transmitted sexual disease; nearly all sexually active men and women contract it at some point in their lives. Latino women in the United States have higher rates of cervical cancer than any other women in other racial or ethnic group. In Puerto Rico, cervical cancer is the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. In a 2014 study of Puerto Rican adolescents and their mothers, it was found that women’s knowledge about HPV and HPV vaccination was low. The report revealed that few young women questioned as part of the study were aware that cervical cancer was caused by HPV. Unvaccinated women had little knowledge ...

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Renowned Pulmonologist Advocates for Raising the Smoking Age to 21

Raising the smoking age to 21 could curb access to tobacco products at an early age, which could lead reductions in smoking prevalence, said Dr. Daniel Ouellette, a Henry Ford Hospital pulmonologist. “Most of my patients are diagnosed with emphysema or lung cancer at a relatively young age from smoking, despite the media attention given to the health risks of smoking, and despite them knowing about those risks,” Oulette said. Smoking causes 1 in 5 deaths in the United States and is linked to cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the CDC Oulette warns that based on current smoking rates 5.6 million Americans under 18 will die during their lifetime due to smoking and tobacco products. At IHPR, the team ...

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Irene Maldonado: Latina Cancer Survivor

It was on a beautiful day in April 2001 when Irene Maldonado found out she had breast cancer. “Being a single mom, I immediately thought of my only child, my 16-year-old son Mark. In a sense I was all he had. He had been so concerned that morning that he wanted to go with me to get the results of my biopsies,” Irene says. Soon after her diagnosis a nurse gave her an advice that motivated her during her fight against cancer. “Don’t make everyone’s story your own. Everyone’s cancer is different.” Her words came to mind several times in the months that followed. I will forever be grateful to that angel who held my hand while my world, as I knew it, would never be the same.” Her family also played an important role during her treatment and surgery. “I was to meet many ...

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Autistic Character Joins Sesame Street

Julia, a new autistic character joins the popular book and TV series Sesame Street, Univision Noticias reports. In an effort to raise awareness about a condition that affects 1 out of 68 U.S. children, including Latinos who are often diagnosed at a much later age, Sesame Street decided to create Julia. “We’re trying to raise awareness on the story behind the theory, through love and acceptance. There are many children with autism and with the creation of Julia, we integrate them so they play together,” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt who is part of this new project told People. In the first book where Julia appears Elmo plays with Julia and together they build blocks, when Abby enters the scene Elmo tells her his father told him that Julia has autism and does things a little ...

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Bea Vasquez: Sobreviviente de cáncer de seno

Para Bea Vasquez, el cancer no era algo nuevo. El cáncer de seno cobro la vida de su madre cuando Bea era joven. Por lo que paso con su mama y el conocimiento que adquiero por su trabajo con  la Sociedad American del Cancer, Bea se hacía mamogramas cada septiembre. “En 1998, estaba tan ocupada que no me hice un mamograma hasta el siguiente Marzo. Despues de un segundo mamograma y un sonograma, fui diagnosticada con cáncer de seno,” dice Bea El tumor estaba muy pequeño, por la tanto la quimioterapia no fue requerida, pero para asegurarse decidió tener radiaciones. “Parece como si yo estuviera muy bien informada, y lo estaba. Estaba libre de cáncer pero no estaba libre de miedo. Tenía miedo de morir y dejar a mi hija y a mi mamá. Le di ésta y todas mis ...

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Maria Huerta: Latina Cancer Survivor

Maria Huerta, was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 32 years old. “You cannot imagine how your life can change in the snap of a finger. Well, mine did. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993. At the time I was caring for her I would say to myself, “Oh God, what would I do?” Little did I know I would go through it myself when I was diagnosed a year later at age 32,” Maria says. While she was taking a shower Maria discovered a lump and immediately told her mother and daughter. “At the time I was hurting financially and prayed to God that if it needed immediate attention to please provide the money so I could have it taken care of.” A few days later Maria was surprised by her employer with an envelope with money for her treatment. “I was devastated ...

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Study: Latinas More Likely To Receive Poor Breast Cancer Treatment

Latinas are more likely to receive poor treatment regardless of tumor type, Latina Magazine reports. The study, published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, “looked at data from 100,000 American women, including their demographics, stage of disease, tumor grade and size, treatment and health insurance status.” According to the study, 20 to 40 percent of Latinas were more likely to receive “substandard care.“ Latinas have a 30 to 40 percent higher chance to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and “were more likely to have large tumors.” Researchers aren’t sure why there’s a gap in quality of treatment Latinas receive, but believe socioeconomic factors play a role as well as language ...

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Gloria Diaz: Latino Cancer Survivor

Getting a breast cancer diagnosis could be a shocking experience, especially when your doctor confirms your fears and tells you, you have breast cancer. “ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “You have breast cancer. We need to set up an appointment with a surgeon as soon as possible.” I asked the doctor to proceed with whatever arrangements would be necessary. I called my husband at work. I could tell by his voice he was in shock. That evening we informed our four children,” Gloria Diaz says. The day after, Gloria, accompanied by her daughter visited her doctor and was given two options: a mastectomy or lumpectomy. “I was scared and confused. A mastectomy meant I would have my entire right breast removed along with a large number of lymph nodes, and if everything came ...

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New Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets Minorities of Color

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is launching “Fresh Empire” a hip-hop themed anti-tobacco campaign targeted at Latinos and Blacks. “Unfortunately, the health burdens of tobacco use disproportionately affect minority teens – particularly African American and Hispanic youth,” said Jonca Bull, M.D., the FDA’s Assistant Commissioner for Minority Health in a press release. "The 'Fresh Empire' campaign will help reach teens at a key point in their lives when experimenting with smoking can lead to addiction." The “Fresh Start” campaign will target youth ages 12-17 with interactive content, songs and videos by up and coming hip hop artists. "We know from our research that remaining in control is an important pillar of hip-hop culture. But smoking represents a ...

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