Study: Processed Food May Increase Colorectal Cancer Risk


rejecting processed food

We’re all busy with the hustle and bustle of life. It’s tempting to grab fast food or buy ready-to-eat food to avoid cooking after a long day. But choosing those ultra-processed foods may cost you more than the money in your wallet. We already know that processed food is bad for your health, but an August 2022 study in The BMJ suggests that consuming ultra-processed food may increase risk for a serious disease – colorectal cancer. Let’s unpack these study results and what they mean for Latinos. What Are Ultra-Processed Foods? Ultra-processed foods – industrial ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat formulations made of little or no whole foods – now contribute 57% of total daily calories consumed by American adults, according to the study. These foods are usually rich ...

Read More

Latinos, Act Against HPV-Associated Throat Cancer 


HPV throat cancer

HPV-associated throat cancer is on the rise in men. With the typical patient being 50 to 60 years old, Black and Latino men are dying from the disease at higher rates than their white counterparts, regardless of the stage of diagnosis or the type of treatment they receive. These staggering statistics come from a 2022 study published in the Annals of Cancer Epidemiology. Here’s what you need to know about HPV-associated throat cancer, and what you can do to help prevent it. What Causes HPV-Associated Throat Cancer?  HPV is short for human papillomavirus and is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. There are many types of HPVs, some of which can cause cancer later in life, according to ...

Read More

‘Maybe I Can Help Somebody Else’: Willie Heard’s Unwavering Faith Through Clinical Trials


Willie Heard

Willie Heard is a man of faith. His faith stood strong even after he got tragic news in September 2013. Heard was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a group of bone marrow cancers in which the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells. His cancer diagnosis came just months after retiring from his job at USAA and just shy of his 67th birthday. “I’m a religious person and a minister and, I think I remember telling the doctor, I said, ‘Doctor you do what you do, I’m gonna let God do what he does,’” said Heard, a resident of San Antonio, Texas.  “[The cancer diagnosis] was a surprise to me, but I’ve always been a person that don’t really worry about stuff I can’t control, so I don’t let that bother me.” Heard’s Decision to ...

Read More

What Makes Health Promotion Programs Successful?


health promotion book featuring dr amelie ramirez cover

Cancer health disparities. COVID-19. Climate change. These challenges require public health leaders to create programs and policy solutions that address a complex web of factors that influence health status, from biology to social determinants and systemic inequities. In a new book, Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation, public health education specialist Dr. Lawrence W. Green and his team of editors and chapter authors combine their expertise to offer a high-level guide to public health promotion and programming. The book has a chapter, "Applications in Community Settings," written by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez and Dr. Patricia Chalela of UT Health San Antonio. "Program and policy solutions to population health challenges require systematic planning, ...

Read More

Analyzing the Cancer Moonshot’s Impact on Latinos


latino cancer moonshot

Created in 2016 by President Joe Biden, the Cancer Moonshot initiative aims to accelerate the rate of progress against cancer. Since then, the government program has accomplished a lot, including more than 2,000 scientific publications and 49 clinical trials – all to better understand how to treat and prevent cancer. President Biden has now reignited the Cancer Moonshot program and set a new national goal: cutting the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years, and improving the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer. But how will the Cancer Moonshot impact Latinos? The Latino Cancer Crisis Cancer is the #1 cause of death in Latinos. Latino cancer cases are expected to rise 142% in coming years. There are higher rates ...

Read More

Watch Webinar: Ladies, Why Should You Get Screened for Cancer?



Latinas have lower cancer screening rates than their peers in South Texas and the nation. To find out why, we conducted a Zoom webinar — “Ladies, Why Should You Get Screened for Cancer?” — at 1 p.m. CT on Oct. 4, 2022. This webinar featured guest speakers and patient advocates to help health care professionals and the Latino public to help health care professionals and the Latino public understand the cultural and other barriers to cancer screening and demystify screening tests. Speakers also shared testimonials of their cancer journey and why they get screened. This is the sixth and final webinar of a series, “Let’s Address Health Equity Together.” The series is a collaboration of the Salud America! program at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT ...

Read More

Mind, Body, Spirit: A Holistic Approach to Help Latina Breast Cancer Survivors



Stress is a grim reality for many Latinas after breast cancer. Survivors deal with health, fitness, finance, discrimination, and social challenges that reduce their quality of life and boost their risk of new or recurring cancers. That is why Drs. Amelie G. Ramirez, Daniel Carlos Hughes, and Patricia Chalela at UT Health San Antonio will conduct a holistic intervention to improve Latina breast cancer survivors' physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, thanks to a new, three-year, $600,000 grant from Susan G. Komen. Researchers will recruit 70 breast cancer survivors, half of them Latinas. Over six months, they will get: therapeutic yoga with meditation optional tailored exercise and diet counseling real-time psycho-social support based on survivors’ ...

Read More

A Potential New Bladder Cancer Treatment May Benefit Latinos


bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and causes about 17,100 deaths annually in the US. About 75% of bladder cancer cases are non-muscle invasive. This means that the cancer affects the tissue lining of the inner surface of the bladder, but not the bladder muscle. While this type of bladder cancer is treatable, one of the most effective treatments for this disease – a tuberculosis vaccine – causes intolerable side effects for up to 84% of patients, which can prevent treatment completion. When treatments fail, the bladder may have to be removed, reducing the patient’s quality of life. However, a modified tuberculosis vaccine developed by Jordi B. Torrelles, PhD, a professor at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, could help treat non-muscle ...

Read More

Parents: Back-to-School Preparation Includes HPV Vaccination


HPV Vaccination

It’s that time of year again! Summer is ending and children are returning to school. Just as you prepare your child for the upcoming school year with school supplies, consider preparing them for a healthier life free from Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers with an HPV vaccine. Now is the perfect time to schedule your child’s annual wellness visit to receive the vaccine – before life gets hectic again. What is HPV? HPV is short for human papillomavirus. There are many types of HPVs, some of which can be sexually transmitted and cause cancer later in life, according to the American Cancer Society. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US. HPV is so common that almost every sexually active person will get HPV at some point in their lives if ...

Read More