CHICAGO (CBS) — A new breast cancer clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital aims to give Hispanic women critical access to care and treatment once they’ve been diagnosed.
The Lurie Cancer Center Hispanic Breast Cancer Clinic, which opened in September, was created to address disparities between Hispanic women and White women when it comes to screening, treatment, and research. It’s led by Dr. Claudia Tellez, a Colombian-born Oncologist.
“What we’re finding with the Hispanic population is that our patients are being diagnosed with cancers that are more aggressive and more advanced, and as result their prognosis is negative,” Tellez said.
According to Research by the National Institutes of Health, despite being diagnosed less than White women, breast cancer in Hispanic women tends to be more aggressive and more deadly.
“Many of the Hispanic patients are presenting later for their screening tests or presenting with more advanced cancers, when they’ve already discovered lumps in their breasts and maybe they’ve delayed for months coming for help,” Tellez said. “The other factor is that their cancers actually are more aggressive, they grow more rapidly and so when we discover them, their stages are more advanced.”
Tellez said she hopes the center will provide more education and resources to the Hispanic community, including access to quality care. She also wants to make sure more Hispanic women are included in clinical trials.
“It’s a scientific question that if all the people in the population are not participating in clinical trials that the data that we’re gathering is really skewed to just say one particular group, so it’s incumbent on us as scientists to answer this question for all different ethnic groups,” Tellez said.
The Hispanic Breast Cancer Clinic is open every Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can schedule an appointment by phone with a Spanish speaking person at 312.472.0805 (TTY: 711) or visit Lurie Cancer Center Hispanic Breast Clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.