Discussing Health and Family in Guadalajara

Post by Mariel Caballero, Multicultural Marketing, Susan G. Komen.

Family comes first. It’s an expression – but really, a way of life – by which many of us who come from Latino families live.

But we’ve also learned at Susan G. Komen that many Hispanic/Latina women in the U.S. and around the globe are putting their families first, but putting themselves – and their health – in a risky second place.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic/Latina women in the U.S.  And Hispanic/Latina women are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage, larger and/or more difficult-to-treat tumors. We want to change that.

This is why Komen works to educate Hispanic/Latina women about their risk, and empower them to go see a doctor if they notice something abnormal. Last month, I had the opportunity to go to Guadalajara, Mexico, and support our partner NatureSweet as they encouraged their employees to make their health a priority – including their breast health.

Since our partnership began in 2012, NatureSweet has donated more than $150,000 to support Komen’s mission. But I got to see their true commitment to the fight against breast cancer (and to their employees!) at a recent Health Fair and Training that was hosted at their Zapotlan plant.

Since this particular plant has a high percentage of female employees, NatureSweet wanted to take the opportunity to talk about all aspects of women’s health, inviting Komen to host a Spanish breast cancer awareness and education session.

We were expecting about 40-50 people to attend, but  more than 150 individuals,  including NatureSweet’s leadership team, attended the session, learning more about breast cancer and our global mission to end it.

I told the attendees that family is important, but if you love your family, and you want to live many happy years with relatives, or watching your kids grow up, then you HAVE to take care of yourself. There were women in the audience who admitted that if they had a health issue, they’d just ignore it. One woman told me that a friend of hers recently found a lump in her breast, but didn’t want to go to the doctor.

We discussed some of the statistics and cultural behaviors that affect women in Mexico. During the discussion, I encouraged the audience to talk to at least three or more women, and share what they learned during that session. Every 60 seconds, someone loses their life to this disease, so it’s not something that can wait!

We must take care of ourselves the same way we take care of our families.

NatureSweet also teamed up with the Mexican Ministry of Health for the week, bringing in a mobile mammography unit which provided more than 54 free mammograms over the course of just a few days.

Sharing information about breast cancer and inspiring Hispanic/Latina women to take charge of their health will make a huge impact in the lives of women now, and for generations to come, and I’m so pleased that NatureSweet gave us the opportunity to talk about this important issue. I think about the women in that session, and I hope that they really did tell three people about breast cancer, and that those individuals told three more people…

If we truly want to put our families first, then let’s make sure to educate ourselves – and our families – so that maybe someday no one will have to lose a mother, sister or friend to breast cancer.

About the author

Susan G. Komen has written 342 articles for Susan G. Komen® | Blog

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.