In the Survivorship and Mental Health Program, Nueva Vida’s mission is to improve the quality of life of Latinas after a diagnosis of cancer.
Latinas face many obstacles to obtaining quality health care. Latina cancer survivors often lack health insurance or access to uninterrupted cancer care. Moreover, many immigrant Latinas experience language and health literacy barriers, increased feelings of isolation with family being far away, and have fatalistic views about their cancer diagnosis (Lopez-Class, 2011). Because of these obstacles, it naturally follows that Latina breast cancer survivors demonstrate higher levels of distress and negative health outcomes than non-Latina White breast cancer survivors (Burgess, 2005, Eversley, 2005).
All aspects of a woman’s life can be affected including her physical, emotional, and social wellbeing as a result of a diagnosis of cancer. For Latinas, breast cancer can be particularly difficult to manage if they speak little or no English, have limited economic means, have no health insurance and are unfamiliar with the health care system (Napoles-Springer, 2009).
In an effort to counteract this negative trend, emotional and informational support through individual therapy, support groups, and peer counseling.