Breast Cancer Research in the Americas: New Partnerships in Breast Cancer Control and Prevention in North, Central and South America
Guest post from Catherine Oliveros, DrPH, MPH, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Regional Director, International
Breast cancer is one of the leading cancers in the world, yet there is a scarcity of data on Latinos and breast cancer, as the majority of breast cancer research has been conducted in North America and Europe. Expanding the pool of researchers, patients and programs to other countries, especially those less developed, is increasingly seen as the next critical step in the fight against breast cancer. As such, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and partners like the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have made significant financial and programmatic commitments in Latin America to promote research, and outreach and education about breast cancer control and prevention. As evidence-based institutions, our efforts also include consideration of breast cancer control and prevention interventions in the U.S. aimed at Latino populations for adaptation in Latin American settings. These efforts have resulted in several new and dynamic research partnerships among a wide variety of public health stakeholders in these nations.
The Latin American Symposia at the 12th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine (ICBM) held last month in Budapest, Hungary brought together partners with two things in common – a commitment to improving disparities among Latina women and Susan G. Komen.
Dr. Amelie Ramirez, who chaired the symposia and was also featured as one of the amazing individuals in Komen’s “31 Days of Impact,” presented her work; a multi-site research study conducted among low income US Latinas to examine breast cancer “time to diagnosis” disparities. As a result of similar disparities faced by women across the border Dr. Karla Unger highlighted, from a public health perspective, the benefits of using promotoras to increase access to breast cancer services among low –income women in Mexico. Dr. Jorge Gomez of the NCI described the multi-national breast cancer genetics research and biospecimen repository development happening in Central and South America, and I was able to discuss other Komen supported research and public health projects as well as unique partnerships currently underway in the region.
Wonderful things are happening and we are proud to share our efforts and mission every chance we get! Last month it was Eastern Europe; next month it will be somewhere else. We will continue to work together and make great strides towards ensuring that where a woman lives doesn’t determine whether she lives.
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.