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The Zero Breast Cancer (ZBC) organization created Generations, a campaign to give culturally relevant information to young adults about how endocrine disrupting chemicals and their impact on health across generations.
ZBC has now adapted Generations educational tools into Spanish with Generaciones.
“At Zero Breast Cancer, we believe that language should not be a barrier when it comes to accessing important health information,” according to ZBC. “Our goal is to educate young adults and other community members about the multi-generational impact of [endocrine disrupting chemicals] and inspire simple actions that we can take to reduce exposure.”
Let’s dive further into these bilingual resources and why they’re important.
Protecting Future Generations
The endocrine system is a set of organs that produce hormones created and released by the glands in your body’s endocrine system
These hormones regulate and coordinate nearly all the processes in your body, including metabolism, reproduction, growth, and mood.
“Endocrine disrupting chemicals can be found in everyday products such as plastics, cosmetics, and household cleaning products,” according to ZBC.
EDCs can enter one’s body through:
- Ingestion (swallowing), like when you heat food in plastic containers in the microwave, EDCs can get into the food and enter our body when you eat it.
- Skin (absorbing), when you use cosmetics with harmful ingredients, they can be absorbed through the skin.
- Lungs (breathing), during your regular cleaning routines, dust particles containing EDCs can enter the air. Breathing in this dust can allow these harmful chemicals to enter our bodies through the lungs.
Generations was created by the Breast Cancer and the Environment Across Generations Community Advisors, a group of Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) participants led by Zero Breast Cancer staff and CHDS researchers.
- Personal care products
- Dust, dirt and cleaning products
- Food preparation
- Food and drink containers
- Pesticides and
- Paper receipts
“Nonstick cookware (like Teflon) is made with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of chemicals that are also used in stain resistant fabrics and fast food wrappers. They are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they do not break down in our environment and can spread to our water supply,” according to ZBC.
Importance of Culturally Appropriate Information
Latinos often face numerous barriers when it comes to healthcare access, including language.
With this in mind, Latinos deserve access to resources with culturally and linguistically relevant, accurate education on important health issues.
“Through Generaciones, we provide important information that bridges the language gap, promotes inclusivity, and strives for health equity,” according to ZBC.
ZBC worked to ensure these Spanish-language resources were effective and catered to the needs of the Latino population by collaborating with young adults of Marin County in California.
“We reached out to them through fliers placed in local businesses and community resource organizations in the Canal area of San Rafael,” according to ZBC. “The flier specified our search for young adults aged 18 to 35, residing or working in Marin County, who were native Spanish speakers and culturally Latinx.”
Participants went through interviews based on campaign content including posters, online resources and other messages and provided feedback to ensure the adaptation of resources were clear and culturally relevant.
“Participants’ feedback provided valuable insights into their comprehension of the website content. This feedback allowed us to identify areas that required clearer explanations to make the content easily understandable for people with different educational levels,” according to ZBC.
Latino Participation in Clinical Trials
Clinical trials help researchers learn more and more to help slow, manage, and treat diseases.
However, Latinos represent less than 10% of volunteers in cancer clinical trials.
The massive underrepresentation of Latinos in clinical trials makes it hard for researchers to develop new treatments for this population, which suffers from conditions like breast cancer.
This is why Dr. Ramirez, leader of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, is creating new ways to encourage Latinos to volunteer for cancer and Alzheimer’s clinical trials.
Alma, who chose to volunteer for a breast cancer clinical trial at UT Health San Antonio, believes participating helped her get better treatment and better long-term health in her survivorship journey.
“Clinical trials are great for finding new treatments that help people,” Lopez said. “And it helps the scientists. It gives opportunity to better medication for all populations. It builds a better future.”
How can you or someone you know find ways to participate?
Visit the Salud America! clinical trials page and explore ongoing research studies today.