Women from ethnic minorities 'more likely to fear cancer is deadly'

2 March 2016

A new study has indicated that women from ethnic minorities in the UK are more likely to believe that cancer is incurable and is down to fate.

Scientists from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, based at University College London, made this discovery after surveying 720 white British, Caribbean, African, Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi women.

It was shown that 23 per cent of Caribbean women and at least half of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women believed that getting cancer was fate, compared to only six per cent of white females.

Moreover, between 26 and 38 per cent of the women from ethnic minorities believed that cancer was incurable, whereas no white British women thought this. Non-white respondents were also more likely to fear the disease as a result.

These findings help to explain why women from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to attend cancer screening or see their doctor about cancer symptoms.

Lead author Charlotte Vrinten, from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, said: "It's important that we get the message out there that cancer outcomes are improving and that cancer doesn’t have to be dreaded like it used to be."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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