Black women 'more likely to have their breast cancer diagnosed later'

16 November 2016

Black women in England are at greater risk of their breast cancer being diagnosed at a later stage, according to a new report.

Analysis from Cancer Research UK and Public Health England has indicated that 25 per cent of black African and 22 per cent of black Caribbean breast cancer patients have their disease detected when it has already reached stage three or four.

By contrast, the percentage for white women is only 13 per cent. The report indicated that there could be a number of reasons, including ethnic variations in tumour biology.

However, the discrepancy is also partially explicable by differing attitudes and levels of awareness of disease symptoms, with black women generally less likely to attend routine screenings when invited.

This is an issue that needs to be addressed, as detecting cancer at a later stage reduces the chances of the disease being treated effectively.

Dr Jem Rashbass, Public Health England's cancer lead, said: "This analysis will help improve awareness and target treatments. It also shows how vital it is that we collect data is on every person with cancer in England."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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