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Join a Genetic Screening Clinical Trial to Help Identify Your Tumor Risk!

Clinical Trial Genetic Screening Tumor Risk.png

While some cancers develop through unhealthy habits like smoking, others happen through genetics. Clinical trials with volunteers who have a family history of cancer can help researchers learn how to better slow, manage, and/or treat these diseases. This can help save the lives of people whose family experiences cancer generationally. If you have a family history of cancer, you can join a clinical trial at UT Health San Antonio that is studying pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas — endocrine tumors often inherited from family members genetically. “A family history of endocrine tumors could mean you and your loved ones have a higher risk,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research and the Salud America!  program at UT Health San ...

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What Latinos Should Know About the Omicron Variant

Omicron Variant Latinos Know

A new strain of the COVID-19 virus is spreading, and the Omicron variant has already reached North America, experts say. This is yet another mutation, following the Delta variant, that was first identified in South African researchers. It has quickly spread to other continents. Health experts, such as former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, urge people to not get over-worried too quickly about Omicron, but still take available precautions like getting the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot. "Is this making people more ill? There's no indication that it is. And in fact, there's some anecdotal information offered from physicians in South Africa that this could be causing milder illness. Now, that could be an artifact of the fact that initial cases seem to be clustered in younger ...

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Latinos Experience Major Health Inequities in Most U.S. States

Latinos Health Inequities Most States

We know Latinos and other racial/ethnic minorities experience health, social, and environmental inequities that increase their risk for disease. But just how widespread is the problem? Very few states do not face major issues with health inequities and health disparities, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s new report, “Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity in US Health Care: A Scorecard of State Performance.” The authors of the report list many inequities that make an impact, and they also note that the system that promotes these trends is to blame. “Decades of policy choices made by federal, state, and local leaders have led to structural economic suppression, unequal educational access, and residential segregation, all of which have contributed in their own ways to ...

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Exploring the Severe Burden of Stomach Cancer among Latinos

stomach cancer abdominal pain gastric cancer latino latina

Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, disproportionately impacts Latinos. In fact, U.S. Latino men and women are twice as likely as their White peers to develop invasive gastric cancer, according to a 2021 report. But little is known about regional differences. That is why Dr. Dorothy Long Parma of UT Health San Antonio and her colleagues conducted a study to analyze gastric cancer rates for Latinos in South Texas, Texas, and the United States. "We found that overall stomach cancer incidence rates in Texas and South Texas were higher in Latinos than in non-Latino Whites, despite lower frequencies in the state and South Texas region compared to the United States," said Long Parma, assistant professor/research at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) in the ...

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Child Tax Credits a Huge Boost for Many, But Not All, Latino Families

Child Tax Credits Boost

The expanded child tax credits are working to help families make ends meet and experience less stress, a new survey shows. As part of the American Rescue Plan, Congress expanded the child tax credit in March 2021. Since July, the IRS has been providing cash benefits to most households with children, including some of the country’s poorest families. Now, given sufficient time to study this effort, a survey by the Center for Law and Social Policy found that the enhanced child tax credit made a difference for many parents and children. Many Latinos and other families of color benefitted, but many immigrants also were left out. “Consistent and broad evidence [shows] that this policy is working as intended,” Zach Parolin, who has studied the tax credit at Columbia University’s ...

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The $21 Billion Burden of Cancer Care for U.S. Patients

The patient economic burden for cancer in the U.S. was $21.09 billion, according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute. “[This total is] made up of patient out-of-pocket costs of $16.22 billion and patient time costs of $4.87 billion,” according to the annual report. As technology, cancer research, and medicine advances, the effectiveness of therapy treatments only seem to proliferate.  Though this is good news, the reality is that modern cancer treatments are a financial burden to people of color, who also face barriers to equitable cancer care.  Latinos in particular face obstacles such as poor health literacy, concerns about test efficacy, and language and cultural beliefs related to cancer, ...

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Restrictions on Flavored Tobacco Products Can Help Youths Quit Smoking

Flavored Tobacco Products

This week is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. This observance emphasizes the need to stop youths from smoking or help them quit smoking. One thing that is working is flavored tobacco bans or restrictions. "Policies that restrict the sale of flavored tobacco have the potential to curb youth tobacco use in as few as 6 months," according to a recent study from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and RAND Corporation. Let's explore how leaders are addressing youth use of flavored tobacco products. What Did a Massachusetts Study Reveal about Flavored Tobacco Bans? A 2019 Massachusetts and RAND Corporation study evaluated the short-term impact of a flavored tobacco restriction policy on youth access to, and use of, flavored tobacco products in Lowell, ...

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Join the PASS Clinical Trial to Better Predict Prostate Cancer Outcomes

PASS trial

For Latino men, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis. While there is good news—from 2014-2018, Latino men were 20% less likely to face a prostate cancer diagnosis than their white peers—Latino men are more likely than their white peers to be diagnosed at a younger age, and with a higher risk of disease. This is why researchers at UT Health San Antonio are conducting the Prostate Active Surveillance Study (PASS) Clinical Trial in partnership with the Canary Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the early detection of cancer. The study is for men age 21 and older who have chosen active surveillance as a management plan for their prostate cancer. Active surveillance is defined as close monitoring of prostate cancer with the offer of treatment if there are changes ...

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Report: The Number of Latinos Killed by Police is ‘Off the Charts’

The Number of Latinos Killed by Police is ‘Off the Charts’

Between 1980 to 2019, police violence caused 30,800 deaths, according to a new report published in The Lancet. Latinos experienced the second-highest rate of police violence-driven fatalities, after Blacks. The report also found that police-violence-related deaths among people of color far outweighed the number of cases reported in the U.S. National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), which tracks fatality data. “Mounting evidence shows that deaths at the hands of the police disproportionately impact people of certain races and ethnicities, pointing to systemic racism in policing," according to the data. “Proven public health intervention strategies are needed to address these systematic biases.” The Report and Its Findings on Police Violence In 2019, the US incurred 13% of ...

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