SAN ANTONIO – The first of its kind conference in San Antonio drew more than 200 people to downtown.
Researchers and medical experts all focused on one thing.
"To really discuss what's going on with Latinos and cancer," said Dr. Amelie Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research.
The conference is being hosted by the UT Health Cancer Center and Institute for Health Promotion Research. The group said despite substantial advancement in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment the rates of cancer in Latinos have continued to climb. With the growing U.S. Latino population, that could mean a 142 percent increase in cancer cases by 2030.
"We have seen that certain cancers are increasing in our Latino population and we don't understand why," said Ramirez.
Finding out why won't come easy. Latinos themselves are diverse.
"We also have a population that we call mixed or ad mixed that include Europeans, mostly Spanish but other countries, indigenous people in the America's and depending on the country a significant African mixture as well. And that blend has been going on for 500 years and maybe there's some interesting development biologically as a consequence to that," said Eliseo Perez-Stable of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Researchers said what is out there for Latinos might not actually be working. However, exploration takes a long time and finding solutions takes the help of the community.
"So we need to step up and participate. When you hear about clinical trials, it's really important. Clinical trials are to find out how to make a drug or treatment better so if we are not included in those trials, they'll never find out the answer," said Ramirez.