Source: The Guardian
Black women in England are more likely to get advanced breast cancer than white women, new analysis by Cancer Research UK and Public Health England shows.
It was concluded that late-stage disease affected almost twice as many black women (22% of black African women and 22% of black Caribbean women) than white women (13%).
Experts say this is for many reasons, including possible differences in tumour biology, low awareness of symptoms and screening and barriers to seeking help.
While spotting the disease early is key, Heather Nelson of BME Cancer Voice, said in an interview with the BBC: “Women of colour are less likely to go for screening”.
“You’ll get leaflets through your door and they will be predominantly of white, middle-class women. There’s no representation of South Asian, African descent et cetera”.
“If you get information like that, you’re going to look and think, ‘That’s not about me.’”
One woman said to the BBC:
“A lot of us black people bury our head in the sand: ‘Oh, me, well, I don’t need to go, there’s nothing wrong with me.’”
But lots of work has taken place around breast cancer prevention. In October, the international community celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink ribbon has become a symbol to express moral support for women with the disease.
So, why is this work not reaching everyone? If you’re a black survivor of breast cancer, we want to hear your thoughts. When did you find out you had cancer and what has your experience been? What do you think of the prevention messages available? Does it talk to a diverse range of communities? Why do you think that black women are less likely to go for screening?