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Do socioeconomic factors make Hispanics less likely to take advantage of guidelines to prevent cervical cancer?

“What really, really hurts my heart is to see young women dying from this disease,” says Ana M. Rodriguez, an obstetrician and gynecologist who practices at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “It is a preventable disease.”

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable of all cancers because it emerges slowly, offering many opportunities to thwart worrisome pre-cancerous cells.

However, several socioeconomic factors can make Hispanics less likely to take advantage of preventive measures. For example, individuals who speak less English or have recently moved to the United States understand less about cervical cancer prevention than more acculturated residents.

That’s according to studies by Deanna Kepka, a population scientist and an investigator at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute who studies cervical cancer prevention in US Hispanics. Among the gaps: They might not know that HPV causes cervical cancer or that more than one vaccine dose is needed to maximize protection.

See “A preventable malignancy” by Charlotte Huff on the Knowable Magazine website (December 10, 2019)

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