Theresa Loya was the first in her family to attend college. Today, with board certifications both in anatomic and clinical pathology and in internal medicine, she seeks to help the poor and underserved with cancer prevention strategies as well as early detection and intervention for those who already have the disease. Dr. Loya served in the Peace Corps in North Africa before assuming her present positions as assistant professor of pathology at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and assistant clinical professor of pathology at the University of California, Los Angeles. As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, she helped establish La Clínica de la Raza in East Oakland, and she spent more than twenty years working to improve the health status of farm workers in Guatemala.
Dr. Loya earned both her B.A. and her Master of Public Health degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and her M.D. from the University of California at Davis. She also had a one-year fellowship in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Loya completed residencies in anatomic and clinical pathology and in internal medicine, at the University of California at Irvine. She has been a member of the Drew University Medical School Admissions Committee, Academic Senate, International Health Institute, and Educational Policy & Curriculum Committee. She is also the University Representative for Hispanic Serving Health Profession Schools.
At the Martin Luther King/Charles R. Drew Medical Center Dr. Loya has conducted two studies to determine baseline statistics for women with cervical dysplasia/cervical cancer and breast cancer. The cervical cancer study has been prepared for publication and is currently being evaluated by several mentors. The initial results of the breast cancer study have revealed that 69 percent of Hispanic women presented with tumors between 2.1 to 5 centimeters, compared to 44.6 percent nationally. In addition, 92 percent of Hispanic women presented with lymph node involvement by metastatic tumor compared to 42 percent nationally. And finally, of Hispanic women at their facility, 62 percent of Hispanic women presented with stage 2 disease and 23 percent presented with stage 3 disease, compared to 35 percent and 4 percent at a national level.