Posts tagged UTHSCSA
The following is a Nov. 20 guest blog by Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (the team behind SaludToday), for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
I recently had the privilege of attending and presenting my Susan G. Komen-funded research on boosting Latina breast cancer survivorship through Patient Navigation at the 5th International Cancer Control Congress (ICCC) on Nov. 3-6, 2013, in Lima, Peru.
As a member of Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board, I was excited to be among the more than 400 health researchers and community leaders from throughout the world came together for this important meeting. Dr. Simon Sutcliffe of Vancouver, Canada, president of the ICCC and chair of the international steering committee, cited five key drivers for the group:
- improving human development;
- mobilizing a societal response to reduce cancer and other non-communicable diseases;
- improving population health;
- improving cancer treatment, management and care; and
- ensuring effective transfer of knowledge into action at a population level.
Dr. Carissa Etienne of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) also brought up the need to target three challenges: how to apply our current knowledge to reduce cancer; how to reduce cancer disparities; and how to implement comprehensive health care coverage to improve health for all.
How do we answer this call?
At the global level, Komen has invested more than $800 million in research and currently funds more than 500 active research grants. Since Komen’s inception in 1982, $89 million has been dedicated to more than 250 research grants focusing on health disparities. Komen is the largest non-governmental funder of breast cancer research, and its efforts to invest in translation from the lab into treatment, early detection and prevention align well with the goals of the ICCC conference.
My own Komen-funded research is addressing the burden among Latino populations.
Given that breast cancer is the top cancer killer of U.S. Latinas, my team at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is testing ways to reduce the burden on this population. In one National Cancer Institute-funded study, researchers from our Redes En Acción project found that a culturally sensitive patient navigation program reduces time from cancer diagnosis to initial treatment and increases rates of treatment initiation within 30 and 60 days of diagnosis—resulting in lives saved.
In our Komen-funded “Staying Healthy” study, we’re testing how Latina breast cancer survivors in an enhanced patient navigation program go on to participate in screening and treatment plans, and how their quality of life is affected. Preliminary results show increased quality of life, indicating that the “Staying Healthy” program has the potential to be a global model of survivorship care.
At the conference, another research project that caught my attention was a study of women with metastatic breast cancer in three Latin American countries (Mexico, Brazil and Argentina) that showed two-thirds of women felt no one understood what they were going through, 41% said their support from family and friends diminished over time after the original diagnosis, and 74% would like professionals to have more consideration for their emotional needs. In addition, 76% stated they needed more information on the secondary effects and systems of this disease. This study was supported by Novartis oncology.
I was refreshed to not only hear and learn from studies like this one, but also present my Komen-funded research.
Having a role in conferences like this can grow relationships that have the potential to generate collaborations to eradicate breast cancer across the globe.
Find the latest advances in Latino health—from a new support group for young cancer survivors to obesity prevention—in IHPR Noticias, the newsletter from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
IHPR Noticias has these stories and more:
- Story: “Breast Friends Forever” Support Group for Young Cancer Survivors in San Antonio (Pg 1)
- Profile: Inspired by Grandparents…The Story of the IHPR’s Rosalie Aguilar (Pg 2)
- Study: Obesity, Diabetes Biggest South Texas Health Threats (Pg 3)
- Video: Dr. Amelie Ramirez on the Future of Latino Health Care (Pg 4)
- Study: Síclovía Events Encourage Healthy Behaviors (Pg 6)
- Study: Racial/Ethnic Disparities Remain in Breast Cancer Rates (Pg 7)
- Resource: MiPlato Food Prep Tips, Recipes, Coloring Pages (Pg 9)
IHPR Noticias is jam-packed with even more info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events.
Email us at email@example.com if you have story ideas.
Amy Cleveland, fresh out of college and just starting a career in marketing, discovered a coarse lump in her breast while putting on some tanning oil.
Only age 22, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It was a struggle for me because I was young and there was no one my own age I could relate to or confide in about having cancer. People always say, ‘My mom had that,’ or, ‘My grandma had that.’ But it’s tough for young people,” Cleveland said.
Fortunately, Cleveland—now age 28 and free of cancer—found some “Breast Friends Forever,” thanks to a unique support group for young breast cancer survivors developed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and Susan G. Komen San Antonio.
The BFF support group meets bimonthly to help young survivors bond with each other, get emotional support, and learn more about breast health from expert speakers.
“We want young survivors to build positive relationships with other survivors their age in a fun and educational setting, to improve their quality of life during and after breast cancer,” said Sandra San Miguel de Majors, a research instructor at the IHPR. “The BFF group is much-needed because breast cancer rates are rising about 2% a year in women ages 20-39.”
Breast cancer in younger women often is more aggressive with lower survival rates.
The estimated 250,000 U.S. breast cancer survivors diagnosed at age 39 or younger also face different challenges—such as dating and body image issues and starting a career and/or family and having to deal with chemotherapy treatment—than women diagnosed after 40.
San Miguel de Majors said young survivors often have few people to lean on.
“Through our research and outreach work I realized there are no support groups specifically for young breast cancer survivors. I thought, ‘Why not start one?’” said Sandra San Miguel de Majors, who oversees outreach for Redes En Acción, the IHPR’s national Latino cancer research network funded by the National Cancer Institute, and also sits on the board of directors for Komen San Antonio.
A few months ago, San Miguel de Majors brought her idea for a young survivors’ support group to Elyse Alaniz, mission director for Komen San Antonio. They recruited three young survivors—Cleveland, Brenda Garza, and Tanya Del Valle—and formed a planning committee.
They wanted to invite young survivors to meet periodically to share their cancer experiences, bond emotionally, and learn from each other.
But they wanted to offer more than just peer support.
“The element of practical support often is overlooked. At each BFF meeting, we bring in a medical expert to teach survivors about healthy lifestyles, or schedule community service projects,” Alaniz said. “We want to do even more, too, like conduct a healthy cooking demonstration or organize a group exercise session.”
At the first BFF meeting in June 2013, several survivors traded stories, laughed, and enjoyed food at Rosario’s Mexican Cafe y Cantina. At the second meeting in August, 15 survivors learned some nutrition and exercise tips from local oncologist.
Now more than 20 survivors regularly attend BFF meetings.
The BFF group now is reaching out to more young survivors through a web page and Facebook group page, while also giving back: On Oct. 30, 2013, the group will meet at a local eatery to increase cancer awareness, raise funds for underserved women and support one another.
“We really want to take a comprehensive approach to help young survivors in every way possible,” San Miguel de Majors said.
Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, who directs the IHPR and the Redes network and sits on Komen’s national scientific advisory board, is excited about the group’s potential.
“It is fantastic to see this group taking many angles to address the gap that exists for support for young cancer survivors, especially Latina survivors,” Ramirez said. “I’m proud of Sandra for taking the initiative to find another way to help cancer patients.”
Cleveland is glad young survivors have a place to go where they can feel comfortable.
“I’m always telling my friends about this group, and that, while cancer can strike at a young age, you’re not the only one,” she said. “There is a group out with women in it who have been through what you’re going through, and can help.”
The videos, which are also available in English, explore the latest research into how six critical topics—marketing, school snacks, sugary drinks, neighborhood food environments, active play and access to active spaces—impact Latino child health.
The videos also feature evidence-based recommendations on how to address the problem.
The child-narrated videos are part of a six new packages of research materials produced by Salud America!, a national research network on Latino childhood obesity that is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Each topic’s package contains: a research review, an assessment of all available scientific evidence on the topic; an issue brief, a short summary of the research review; an animated video narrated by Latino children; and an infographic, a visual summary of the topic.
Materials are available for download here.
Be sure to drop in for our upcoming free webinar on Nov. 12, 2013, that features Dr. Anna María Nápoles, a Latina professor and behavioral epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who will outline the methodological phases involved in creating a new psychosocial health intervention for Latinas with breast cancer.
Napoles also will highlight a case study in which community and academic leaders partnered in developing a program, as well as a protocol for a randomized controlled trial to test the program.
The webinar, which is at 11 a.m. CST (9 a.m. PST) on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, is hosted by Redes En Acción, a Latino cancer research network funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
…research build a case for addressing Latino childhood obesity? (Pg 1)
…a Latina get more Latinos into national parks for culture, physical activity? (Pg 3)
…schools give kids healthier choices during and after class? (Pg 5)
Find out in the latest Salud America! E-newsletter.
Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program aims to unite and increase the number of Latino stakeholders engaged in community change and research on environmental and policy solutions to the epidemic. The network is directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Don’t forget to share your “healthy change” stories with Salud America!, which can write up your story, possibly film it, and help you get a national audience for your work.
For more info, go here.
Deborah Parra-Medina, Ph.D., a professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, was given the prestigious Mayhew Derryberry Award from the Public Health Education and Health Promotion section of the American Public Health Association (APHA).
The award, given annually, recognizes outstanding contribution of behavioral scientists to the field of health education, health promotion and/or health communications research or theory.
Parra-Medina has more than two decades of research and interventions in chronic disease prevention with underserved groups, including women, Hispanics, immigrants, youth and financially disadvantaged populations in diverse geographic and community settings.
She will be recognized at a lunch Nov. 5, 2013, at the 141st APHA Annual Meeting in Boston.
“I am honored to receive this award named for Mayhew Derryberry, who worked to instill in scientists the vital role of health education in improving people’s health,” Parra-Medina said. “I wholeheartedly agree that health education and promotion are key components to solve health inequalities that exist among certain populations, including Latinos.”
At the IHPR, Parra-Medina leads several projects, including:
- Training peer educators to provide navigation support and outreach/education on HPV to Latina mothers and daughters in South Texas;
- The “Be Fit with Friends” intervention to give Latina Girl Scouts options—from basic fitness equipment to volunteer opportunities to online social media, fitness video games and text messaging—to overcome barriers to physical activity in San Antonio;
- The “Y Living” program that uses e-mails, text messaging and other activities to help San Antonio families increase healthy living and reduce cancer risk; and
- Enlace, a promotora-led physical activity to promote moderate-to-vigorous physical activity among Latinas in South Texas.
Parra-Medina’s “Be Fit with Friends” Leader Manual also will receive an award in the “training materials” category at the APHA meeting.
“Deborah’s work is making a meaningful impact on the health of the Latino population in South Texas and beyond,” said IHPR Director Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H. “She is very deserving of this award and recognition.”
This puts them at higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer at advanced stages.
These public service announcements were developed by researchers at Redes En Acción, a national network dedicated to reducing Latino cancer. Redes is funded by the National Cancer Institute and directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
While U.S. obesity rates appear to have leveled off, Hispanics and Blacks have strikingly higher obesity rates than their White and Asian peers, Bloomberg reports.
The good news is that overall adult obesity is not rising.
About one-third of American adults (about 78 million people) are obese, about the same number as across the last decade, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report was led by researcher Dr. Cynthia L. Ogden.
But racial/ethnic disparities in obesity rates continue to be alarming.
About 43 percent of Hispanics and 48 percent of blacks are obese, compared with 33 percent of whites and 11 percent of Asians, Bloomberg reports.
Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director the Salud America! Latino childhood obesity research network at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, said more educational and research efforts are needed to reduce obesity among Latinos, especially because of high obesity rates among Latino kids.
“We need to work to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and generate a culture of health for Latinos and the nation,” Ramirez said. “We can’t let this be the first generation of children that might outlive their parents.”
You’re invited to join a Twitter Chat with two top researchers who will focus on disparities in breast cancer among minorities.
The chat, from 4-5 p.m. central on Oct. 7, 2013, is co-hosted by Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). Two researchers will head the event:
- Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will address breast cancer among Latinas, particularly why they tend to suffer more late-stage disease.
- Dr. Christopher Li, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is an epidemiologist studying breast cancer outcomes and survivorship.
Ask questions and follow live on Twitter using the hashtag #BCDisparities.
Learn more about Twitter Chat logistics here.