According to the Cancer Research U.K. and the Public Health England, black women in England are more likely to get ahead breast cancer disease compared to white women. Breast cancer is found approximately 25 percent of black African and 22 percent of black Caribbean breast cancer patients. While in white breast cancer patients, the figure is just 13 percent. Experts say there are many reasons behind this results. Vital ones to change are low awareness of symptoms and screening.
Breast Cancer Information
Dr Jodie Moffat, Head of Early Diagnosis at Cancer Research U.K., said in an interview, “Information about the stage when cancers are diagnosed in the U.K. has greatly improved in recent years, and it’s vital the data continues to be collected and analyzed." Moffat and all the researchers believes that spotting cancer early is important because the sooner it can be treated, the better the outcome and reducing late-stage diagnosis is the main "key" to getting better results for patients.
According to Mail Online, differences between breast cancer stage of diagnosis and ethnicity are yet to be explored but Cancer Research UK said that there could be a solid reason behind the results. "It's difficult to know exactly what would be behind any differences, but there are likely to be a range of reasons, including possible differences in tumor biology, awareness of symptoms, barriers to seeking help, attitudes to cancer and breast screening attendance," researchers explained.
Black Women Perspective
As reported by BBC, a support group in Leeds helps women of black African and Caribbean descent who have either had breast cancer themselves or have loved ones who have suffered as such. One woman said, "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." Another said, "I find a lot of people, they'll find out something is wrong but they keep it to themselves and they're praying. They're praying that God will heal them."
Most breast cancers are still diagnosed at an early stage, across all ethnic groups, as the data for 2012 to 2013 shows. Heather Nelson, who works for BME Cancer Voice, said that "Women, especially women of color, 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 etcetera. If you get information like that, you're going to look and think, That's not about me."