It is known the key to surviving breast cancer is to catch it early.
One local group is on a mission to get more women, especially minorities, to face their fear and get their first mammogram.
Cancer can attack anyone, anytime, but Latinas have an increased risk.
"Unfortunately, a proportion of Latina women maybe we are less likely to have breast cancer, but we are more likely to die of breast cancer because we arrive to the doctors at late stages," said Cielo Fernandez, with the El Centro Promotora Project.
Fernandez is the coordinator of a unique group of health promoter volunteers.
Their goal is to educate Hispanic families about cancer prevention.
"I think we are just busy being a wife, working, being a mom," Fernandea said. "I guess we don't take care of ourselves, but we care about other people. We put them first not us. We don't know anything about prevention."
So every week, the volunteers in their bright blue shirts show up at the Mexican consulate office in Kansas City to spread their message. They even bring a special tool to show women how to detect a mass when doing a self-breast exam.
"I think it was great, because they gave us a lot of information that I actually didn't know. So now I know a little bit more about it," 19-yar-old Michel Ramirez said.
After the presentation, the volunteers get contact information from each woman they meet and call them when there are free or reduced mammograms at hospitals or area clinics, like Samuel Rogers.
Susana Lopez is one of the women who got her first mammogram last year at age 55.
Lopez said her parents taught her not to show her nude body to anyone.
But now she says Latina women need to overcome that shyness, something she learned from the volunteers.
"Nobody is responsible for your own health. You have to be responsible. We try to convey that to the community," Fernandez said.
The El Centro health promoters have been active in the community for six years and say they make their cancer prevention presentations at churches and other events across the metro.
If you want more information or need help setting up your first mammogram, click here.
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