Black Women More Prone To Breast Cancer Than White Women

Posted: Nov 16 2016, 4:14am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Black Women More Prone to Breast Cancer Than White Women
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It has been found that black females are more prone to breast cancer especially in its late stages than white females.

Black females of African ancestry are about twice as likely to contract breast cancer as white females, according to new analysis from Cancer Research UK and Public Health England released today.

25% of black African females and 22% of black Caribbean women were found to have breast cancer at its third and fourth stage. Compared to this, only 13% of white British females have this disease.

This is the first such study which delves into the question of race, ethnicity and disease in Britain. It presents a crystal clear picture of the situation in the UK as regards breast cancer.

The results were tabulated for the years 2012 and 2013. Data regarding the age when cancer strikes in the UK has been sifted and re-sifted over time.

While the reason behind the differences between various ethnicities remains a conundrum, some clues have come our way from tumor biology, symptomatology, seeking of medical help, the general outlook on cancer and screening procedure.

Awareness regarding the disease and the pinpointed targeting of those most at risk will occur thanks to the valuable data that has been collected.

While all cancers deserve equal treatment by the medical establishment, it is breast cancer that especially requires screening in order to catch it in its early stages.

It is not just a matter of there being lumps in the mammary glands. Women ought to tell their general physicians regarding any changes in their breasts or any nipple discharge that may have occurred.

Also skin discoloration counts as a warning sign. Breast screening is something which is standard procedure for women in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

Once cancer has been detected, it can be treated in accordance with the latest palliative measures. Awareness regarding cancer has to be spread in society. To notify the medical authorities will ensure that prompt treatment is carried out.

Such a step could save precious lives. All it takes is a simple mammogram in case of breast cancer. To keep one’s head buried in the sand like an ostrich is not a very sane way of fighting a terminal disease like cancer.

Dr Jodie Moffat, Cancer Research UK's head of early diagnosis, said: "Information about the stage when cancers are diagnosed in the UK has greatly improved in recent years, and it's vital the data continues to be collected and analysed. While there are still gaps, this information provides a useful insight into which ethnic groups are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage cancer. 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 tumour biology, awareness of symptoms, barriers to seeking help, attitudes to cancer and breast screening attendance.

Dr Jem Rashbass, PHE 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 England, as findings like these are only possible due to the world leading cancer data we have in this country.

"It is hugely important to catch all cancers, but particularly breast cancer, early. Lumps are not the only sign and women should tell their GP if they notice any changes to their breasts such as nipple discharge or changes to the skin of the breast. Breast screening is offered to women aged 50-70 and can help detect cancer earlier and improve survival."

Dr Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK's head of health information, said: "Reducing late stage diagnosis of cancer is a key part of our work to achieve better results for patients, and we want to be sure that any activity is reaching those most in need. Because of the data gaps, we'll need further work to know how accurate the picture is that these results paint. But we are clear that finding cancer at an earlier stage can make a real difference as it means treatment is more likely to be successful. If you notice something that isn't normal for you, or you've a symptom that's not gone away or has got worse, getting it checked out promptly could save your life."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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