Latina Health Month spans from September 15 to October 15, which perfectly coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month. As such, we are honoring Latinas who have faced one of life’s scariest opponents — breast cancer.
A 2013 study published online at the National Center for Biotechnology Information mentioned previous studies showed Latinas tended to have a fatalistic attitude towards cancer or felt “inhibition against breasts being imaged or examined by physicians, particularly male doctors.”
Breast cancer is nothing to be ashamed about, and these Latinas are fighting for the awareness of their community as well as inspiring women who are fighting the same battle they did.
1. Adamari López
One of the most prominent faces of breast cancer survivors in the Latino community is actress and advocate Adamari López. You might remember her from your telenovela days in ’00s soaps including “Amigas y Rivales” and “Mujeres, Casos de la Vida Real.” After starring onscreen for many years, López found out she had stage 1 breast cancer at age 33 in 2005 and rallied to battle it. She now is an advocate for charities fighting against cancer.
2. Alejandra Guzmán
Mexican singer-songwriter Alejandra Guzmán rocked against breast cancer following her diagnosis in 2007. She underwent surgery to remove a tumor a few days later and is now involved in campaigns against breast cancer.
3. Barbara Mori
Uruguayan actress Barbara Mori was able to detect her breast cancer early thanks to her regular doctor check-ups. Mori was able to beat cancer after a round of surgery. She has said, “I want the world to know that if detected in time, this illness can be cured.” Sounds like the positive words that are needed to #FightTheGoodFight.
4. Ana María Polo
Known as the tough judge on “Caso Cerrado” who gives out stinging critiques each time her gavel is hammered down, Ana María Polo had to wage a battle against cancer when she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She took a well-deserved long vacation after her mastectomy and hit the ground running as a staunch advocate for breast cancer awareness, becoming a spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen foundation. She is also becoming the the first Latina spokesperson for Stand Up to Cancer.
5. Angélica María
One of the grand dames of Mexican telenovelas and films, Angélica María had to show her strength as “La Novia de México” when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. She is an advocate for constant check-ups, since she took swift action after cancer was detected following one of her check-ups.
“I had to keep going forward, I couldn’t die. I couldn’t complain—on the contrary, I had to be sure the cancer would finish,” María said in the interview above.
6. Daniela Romo
The Mexican actress and singer is one of the biggest names in Mexican entertainment. She has enjoyed a long career in the public eye, but had to step away when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In response, she had a mastectomy and had the cancer removed and has advocated regular screenings to combat breast cancer in her community.
7. Lorena Rojas
Mexican actress Lorena Rojas bravely fought against cancer from the time she was first diagnosed at age 38 until her death in the spring of 2015 from the illness. After learning she had breast cancer, Rojas did not let it become a death sentence and instead insisted on living a healthy, normal life as best she could. She even adopted a daughter in 2013.