Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul – Breast Cancer Survivor and Women’s Health Advocate
July 28, 2011 by Jalisa Banks
Dr. Felicia Knaul, a Health Economist and Director of the Harvard Global Health Equity Initiative, has dedicated her career to helping improve the health of people around the world.
Knaul was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41. After her cancer diagnosis, she was inspired to become a powerful advocate for breast cancer awareness, research and treatment. Not only has Knaul has organized a global taskforce of cancer experts to help lobby for better cancer control around the world; she also established an organization called “Tómatelo A Pecho“. The organization encourages Latina women and health care providers to better understand breast cancer risks, as well as the importance of prevention and early detection.
Tómatelo A Pecho originally began its work educating women in Latin America, but has now expanded to Latinas living in the United States.
Breast cancer is a growing epidemic among women around the world. In the United States, breast cancer is the most deadly type of cancer among Hispanic women. Nevertheless, it can be prevented and treated successfully if diagnosed early.
There are several important steps women can take right now to reduce their risk of breast cancer:
- It is important for women to do self-exams regularly and get yearly mammograms after the age of 40 (or earlier if there is a family history of breast cancer)
- Eating low-fat balanced meals, exercising, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption can all reduce risk.
Knaul recently wrote a book about her experiences as a breast cancer survivor to give other Latinas who are facing the disease hope and encouragement. The book, also named Tómatelo A Pecho, emphasizes how important it is for women to understand how to prevent the disease, and empowers women to take an active role in their treatment and recovery.
Service providers that specialize in cancer treatment can help Knaul with her mission. By adding your business listing to our searchable online directory, you can make your services available to people looking for cancer support.
The Hispanic Access Foundation provides information about services and community resources in order to help the Hispanic population take the action necessary to improve their health. For access to this information and more, call our hotline at: 1-800-206-9096.