Disease Prevention and Management: Cancer

MHP Salud’s Healthy Living Initiative provides accessible support and education to community residents to help support healthy lifestyles.

Cancer in America’s Latino Communities

In the United States, the most common types of cancer are breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancers. Approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.1

Overall, Hispanic individuals have lower cancer rates than non-Hispanic whites, however disparities exist in mortality rates for certain types of cancer, for example, both male and female Hispanics are twice as likely to die from liver cancer as non-Hispanic whites. Hispanic women are 2.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with stomach cancer and 60% more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer.2 They are also more likely to die from cervical cancer. Breast cancer is also a leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women.3

Both Hispanic men and women have a chronic liver disease rate over twice that of the non-Hispanic white population. They are also more likely to die from liver and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) cancer than non-Hispanic whites.4

Poor cancer outcomes for Hispanic and Latino individuals is likely related to low screening rates for this group. Screening prevalence is lower for Hispanic and Latinos for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancers, compared to non-Hispanic whites.5

 Hispanics are twice as likely to die from liver cancer as non-Hispanic whites.

Hispanic men and women have a chronic liver disease rate over twice that of the non-Hispanic white population.

Community Health Workers and Cancer Prevention

MHP Salud proactively helps America’s Latino communities through cancer prevention, screening, and treatment activities that encourage good health. Our comprehensive strategies include one-on-one education between Community Health Workers and community members, connections to screenings and diagnostic testing with our partners, and referrals to local resources that can provide affordable treatment if needed.

As Community Health Workers are members of the community themselves, they are extremely effective at conducting outreach. Their linguistic and cultural familiarity with the region and its members allows them to inform individuals on the importance of cancer screenings and encourage them to get one through casual conversation.

Early cancer detection significantly increases the chances for successful treatment. This is why CHWs work hard to connect individuals to our partners that provide screening services. These services also mitigate harm for participants in the form of high medical bills, stress and worry, and the economic impact of reduced wages that can result from advanced cancer diagnosis and treatment.


MHP Salud’s cancer prevention project has contacted nearly 3000 individuals about comprehensive preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services for cancer. 3,560 individuals were given cancer screenings of which 66 had a positive test result.

  1. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics
  2. https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=61
  3. h://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-hispanics-and-latinos/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-hispanics-and-latinos-2015-2017.pdf
  4. https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=62
  5. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-hispanics-and-latinos/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-hispanics-and-latinos-2015-2017.pdf

Want more information on this initiative? Please contact us at info@mhpsalud.org


About MHP Salud 

MHP Salud has over thirty years of experience implementing CHW programs and training organizations looking to start and/or strengthen their own CHW programs. For more information about MHP Salud, our services, and how we can help you, please email us at info@mhpsalud.org