It breaks my heart and really irks me when I’m online doing research and read news articles, medical journals, websites and blog posts showing me over and over lists of diseases striking all women, with Latina women near or at the top. In my own family, with members of all different economic and educational backgrounds, I see firsthand the struggles I read about daily. It is easily the most frustrating experience ever trying to explain to my Puerto Rican mother why, no puedes comer arroz blanco cada día si quieres bajar de peso. Or when she looks at me like I’m crazy when she waves her carrot sticks in my face “you see I’m eating healthy” – only to have me sigh and shake my head because she’s drowning them in ranch dressing.
Cultural influences, traditions, stigmas and just plain lack of knowledge all add up to more women dying from some very preventable illnesses. There is also an undeniable disparity as to how some groups have less access to basic healthcare and preventative services. While bringing it down to just five tests was hard, here are the ones I recently recommended for Latina Magazine. Please read, comment (on their website) and share.