A new study has found that Latinas may be at a much lower risk for developing breast cancer. The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and carried out by a team at the University of California in San Francisco. It is a genetic variant that is quite common in Latina women that sets them apart. In fact, this variant is most common in women who have ancestors that were indigenous Americans.
The study found that approximately 20 percent of Latinas carry one copy of this particular variant, and about 1 percent have two copies of it. This is great news for Latina women, and it also helps doctors and scientists get closer to finding out what causes breast cancer in the first place.
Some researchers like Gianfrancesco Genoso and even the study leaders have chimed in that there may be other factors at play here too, however. They point to some behaviors attributed to Latina women that could be keeping them from breast cancer as well. For example, Latinas don’t tend to take postmenopausal hormones, and they are more likely to give birth to more children at younger ages.
The genetic variant itself is actually on chromosome 6. It is known as a single nucleotide polymorphism. They call it a SNP or snip for short. It is more prevalent in people who are directly related to indigenous Americans. This happens to be the Hispanic populations. There is a 15 percent frequency of the variant in Mexico, and there is a 5 percent frequency of it in Puerto Rico. For whites and blacks, this variant only appears in less than 1 percent of the population.
Whether an American citizen or no, Latinos are 26 times more likely to be asked for identification at US checkpoints along the US-Mexico border, than any other race.
The report was published by a group of US citizens living along the border, and discovered that Latinos were far more likely to be carded than Anglo-Saxons. The group spent more than 1,000 hours documenting who was asked for identification along the border, and they found that in the vast majority of cases, Latinos were targeted.
The report also suggested that Latinos driving vehicles were 20 times more likely to have to undergo a secondary inspection. This is the more involved inspection, in which you could be asked to exit the vehicle, while it's searched by a border patrol team.
The report was sparked by complaints from residents near the border, that had been forced to undergo secondary inspections that last 45 minutes or longer, before being allowed to enter the United States. American citizens, who legally live in the US, being forced to undergo undo scrutiny, simply because they happen to have Latin heritage.
Have to say, Marnie Bennett was pretty outraged, and justifiably so. Something that they need to fix, and ensure that we still have an adequate screening process, but one that does not unfairly target any individual.