Program helps Latinas with breast cancer screening, awareness

Friday, October 3, 2014
VIDEO: Program helps Latinas with breast cancer screening
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There is help out there that can make all the difference.

Only 91 per 100,000 Hispanic women get breast cancer per year. However, it remains the leading cause of cancer death in this community.

Brenda Reyes, a breast cancer survivor, explains, "I'm dying, I'm going to be dying. That's the first thing I had in my mind but. Wow, I don't have any medical insurance, how am I going to get this done."

Medical insurance was a huge concern for Brenda when, at 39 years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Lack of medical insurance is one of the many barriers Hispanic women need to overcome when facing breast cancer.

Patricia Thomas, RN Care Manager at Congreso Health Center, explains, "If you think about language, insurance and transportation or all of the different barriers that we have in our community, that just bring more problems to the table."

And that's what programs such as Congreso "Por Nosotras" promotes in the Hispanic community - raise awareness and promote screenings for women in underserved communities.

Thomas says, "It doesn't matter if you don't have insurance. If you are 21 years old and above, yes, you need a screening regardless of family history or anything. We are trying to prevent more than to treat."

As for Brenda, she is grateful that she was able to get help from her doctor's office and that there are now programs such as Congreso's that help Latinas with breast cancer.

Brenda says, "It's not easy. It's a long process and I got a lot of help."

Help that made all the difference to this mother of three, who is cancer free.

"I feel beautiful after my breast cancer - more beautiful inside. Not just my body, not just my breasts, because you find out, wow all this has happened to me."

There is help out there that can make all the difference.

For more information on Congreso's Por Nosotras program visit