Breast Cancer survivor encourages minorities to get checked out

Early detection and quality care are key when it comes to battling breast cancer. However, not everyone has access to them. For a number of reasons, studies show minorities can be particularly at risk. Breast cancer is the most common cancer and leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women.

Rosa Centeno says before being diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, she never used to get checked for the disease. It wasn’t until she noticed a mass on her breast that she went to the Baltimore City Cancer Center and learned the news that would forever change her world.

“I cried and cried when the doctor called,” said Centeno. “I felt the world had ended for me at that time.”

But her world didn’t end. Three years after she was diagnosed, Centeno is now cancer free and stronger than ever. Unfortunately, there are many minorities who don’t receive quality care when it comes to breast cancer.

 “It’s two things. It’s many barriers to cares,” said Rhonda Silva, the Division Administrator at the Baltimore City Cancer Center. “One is fear, a lot in social economic, lack of insurance, lack of education.”

Silva works to try and help those in need receive the service and care they deserve.

“We’re tasked to go into the communities of underserved areas,” said Silva. “We encourage folks to come in for those screenings and getting folks who have breast cancer, speak to others about how important it is.”

The more people they reach, the more lives they can save.

“You’ll be surprised at how we can talk with you and help you understand what you’re going through and hold your hand if we have to, walk with you, we’ll walk all the way through the entire process with you.”

The Baltimore City Cancer Center says they provide free services to patients uninsured and underinsured. They’ve been around for 15 years now and so far, they say they have a 95.2% survival rate.

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