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J Health Commun. 2012;17(2):160-76. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2011.585695. Epub 2011 Nov 7.

Esperanza y Vida: a culturally and linguistically customized breast and cervical education program for diverse Latinas at three different United States sites.

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  • 1Department of Oncological Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among Latinas in the United States. In addition, Latinas experience a disproportionate burden of cervical cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality compared with non-Hispanic White women. Lower use of breast and cervical cancer screening services may contribute to these disparities. To address the underutilization of breast and cervical cancer screening among diverse subgroups of Latinas, a peer-led education program called Esperanza y Vida ("Hope and Life") was developed and administered at 3 sites (2 in New York and 1 in Arkansas). Immigrant Latina women and their partners were educated about the importance of breast and cervical cancer screening, with the goals of increasing their knowledge about these cancers and their screening behavior. An analysis of the intervention's findings at baseline among female participants demonstrated significant sociodemographic, interpersonal, cultural, health care system, and program variability in 3 distinct geographic regions in the United States. These data indicate the need for and feasibility of customizing cancer outreach and educational programs for diverse Latina subgroups living in various U.S. regions, with implications for informing the expansion and replication of the program in other regions of the country.

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