With cancer rates among Latinos expected to soar 2.4-fold by 2030, researchers from the University of Texas (UT) Health San Antonio worked with an international team of cancer specialists to publish the book Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos.
The book grew out of a 2018 conference in San Antonio of the same name, the next iteration of which is slated for February 26 to 28.
According to a press statement by coeditor Amelie Ramirez, DrPH, a professor and chair of population health sciences and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, the book “takes an unprecedented look at Latino cancer from many disciplines to encourage the kind of collaboration among diverse professionals we need to move the field forward. We believe the recommendations here can spark dialog and collaboration for new solutions to eliminate cancer health disparities among Latino populations.”
The fact that Latinos have higher rates of certain cancers, including liver cancer, compared with whites, is partly driven by lower testing rates and underrepresentation of Latinos in clinical trials.
Given that cancer research data often overlooks the diversity of the Latino population, the authors of the new book have called on stakeholders to recognize the many subgroups within this overall demographic. This could help better identify associations between, for example, lifestyle trends among certain groups and cancer risk.
Aside from collecting more detailed data on Latino subgroups, recommendations that the book makes for lowering cancer rates among Latinos include:
- Look for various biological factors that may drive higher rates of cancers such as gastric cancer and breast cancer among Latinos.
- Assess broad epidemiological trends among Latinos to help identify risk factors for various cancers, such as diet.
- Ensure a diverse representation of Latinos in trials that look for biological markers of cancer risk and in clinical trials of cancer treatments, including precision medicine research.
- Recruit more Latinos into graduate programs in the health field.
- Provide linguistically and culturally competent care for Latino cancer survivors.
- Confer with Latino communities about designing and implementing cancer prevention interventions in the community.
“We hope that readers will explore this important research to gain a fresh, comprehensive perspective on Latino cancer health disparities,” Ramirez said. “We anticipate this will inspire critical thinking and strategizing about how people can apply some of this research and practice into their own work at their own institution, leading to more collaboration, more research and success in improving the health and lives of U.S. Latinos.”
To read the Salud America article, click here.