LatinaLista — At one point in each of our lives, we’ve heard our mothers, abuelas, tias, sisters, and heck, we may have even uttered words to the effect of “God’s Will, be done.”
It’s an attitude that automatically surrenders our ability to change the outcome of a given situation.The older generation calls it faith. Researchers have another name for it — fatalism.
Researchers from San Diego State University studied how Latinas’ fatalistic attitudes affect their attitudes about being pro-active in preventing breast, cervical and colorectal cancers by getting screened.
They found that Latinas’ fatalistic attitudes are a major reason why cancer screening rates are so low.
The women in the studies were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with statements such as “cancer is like a death sentence,” “cancer is God’s punishment,” “illness is a matter of chance,” “there is little that I can do to prevent cancer,” and “it does not do any good to try to change the future because the future is in the hands of God.”
Seven of the 11 studies found a statistically significant link between fatalism and reduced use of cancer screening services.
The researchers called for more “culturally appropriate interventions” to get Latinas to understand that cancer is preventable and treatable if caught in time, which starts with a screening.
Otherwise the only treatment for a cancer diagnosis found too late is praying for a miracle.