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Health officials urge breast cancer prevention

Dr. Hector Gonzalez of the City of Laredo Health Department called for more awareness and prevention for breast cancer in our community.
There were 21 breast cancer related deaths in Laredo. In many of those cases, the patients did not know that early detection could have saved their lives.
Thursday, October 21, 2023
By: Francisco Díaz
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LAREDO, Texas -- Breast cancer has taken the lives of many in Laredo, but what is most troubling is that women have ignored studies that early detection is the best way to combat this disease.

Dr. Hector Gonzalez, director of the Health Department in Laredo, said that from January until now, 11 deaths have been recorded as a result of this disease.

That number is considered high because this type of cancer is preventable if detected early. "The concern is that in seven of these 11 deaths, women went to seek medical treatment when it was too late, that is, when they were in near-terminal stage," Dr. Gonzalez said.

He reiterated that this disease is treatable when people schedule to get mammograms and conduct self-exploration. Breast cancer can affect men as well as women.

You should contact your doctor immediately if you recognize any lumps abnormalities in your breasts. People with family members who have had breast cancer are at an increased risk.

"There is radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other treatments that may be useful in combating cancer," Dr. Gonzalez added. Last year, he said, there were 21 deaths in Laredo and in many of those cases, the patients did not understand that early detection could have saved their lives.

Dr. Gonzalez recommends the public to conduct a mammogram at least once a year, as well as checking at home for any new lumps in your breast.

He reiterated that in our community, one of the biggest problems for the prevention of diseases is poverty. It is estimated that 40 percent or more of Laredo's population uninsured.

Dr. Gonzalez also mentioned that the City of Laredo Health Department recently received a $2 million grant for labor, education and prevention of all cancers for the community.

For more information about these programs at the Health Department, please call (956) 795-4900, or visit the facility at 2600 Cedar Ave.


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