Latina beauty pageant contestant is fighting her stage three colon cancer with a “positive attitude”

Screenshot: Inside Edition

The next time you are feeling life is unfair think of Andrea Andrade. The California woman has stage three colon cancer. Doctors have told her she has between six months and two years to live.

Andrade told Inside Edition  she was not going to let her cancer diagnosis keep her away from the Miss California USA beauty pageant. The 27-year-old went to represent Fresno County and it was her dream come true.

Andrade did not take home the crown, but as she told her Facebook friends she was “OK” with the outcome. She now has a mission to make people aware of their bodies and the food they eat.

As a busy television station account executive she lived on fast food and now believes her bad diet may have a connection to her colon cancer.

Us Mexicans love to eat. We all know that…it’s not good for our bodies. My doctor told me I am not allowed to eat carnitas. That’s probably one of the most dangerous things I can do to my body.

The chemotherapy is already making a change in Andrade’s body. She says her hair is falling out, and the skin on her hands and feet have turned very dark.

It not only is killing me on the inside, but it is also killing me on the outside.

Andrade says eating healthy, being positive and having faith cures a lot of things. For now she will continue her chemotherapy and working with organizations to make more people aware of the food they eat and the connection to colon cancer.


The Colorectal Cancer Alliance says colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States.

The American Cancer Society estimates that this year 95,520 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer, 39,910 will be diagnosed with rectal cancer, and 50,260 will die from this disease.

Women of Color stand up and be heard



A big thank you to @ReignofApril who started the Twitter conversation #WOCAffirmation on Friday.

She empowered us. As Women of Color (WOC) we have the power to create change.

Here are a few pieces of advice that we believe will inspire you to stand your ground, speak up, fight for your fair share, and push back when you must.

  1. Find your voice. Use it.
  2. Don’t let fear make you a prisoner. Dig deep and find that courage. You have it.
  3. Push forward when someone tries to push you back.
  4. WOC should stand up for each other. When one is targeted at work, don’t run and hide. Defend your sister. Remember you could be next.
  5. Open doors for other women of color. Don’t be the one who is guarding “her turf.”
  6. Speak up when women of color are not invited to the conversation. This is the only way we break up the “white boy’s club.”
  7. Mentor another woman of color. We need to raise each other up.
  8. When someone is putting down a WOC who is not present, be the one to silence the hater.
  9. Reach out to a WOC who may need a word of encouragement, pat on the back or the simple words “it will be OK.”
  10. Be a friend 24/7.

Together we can lead a movement and make sure we are treated as equals.


Rebecca Aguilar is an award-winning  journalist and the founder of Wise Latinas Linked, a Latina networking group of 9,000 Latinas on Facebook and LinkedIn.