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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

ArabellaScott · 26/09/2023 16:40

'breast cancer incidence rates are lower in women from ethnically diverse backgrounds including South Asian, black, Chinese, and mixed groups when compared to white women.

However, women from these backgrounds experience differences in breast screening attendance, the stage and age of diagnosis, survival outcomes, and experiences of care and treatment. 

However there is evidence that Black women are disproportionately affected by triple negative breast cancer. If you are of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry or have other rare cancers or genetic conditions in the family this can also increase your risk.'

Family history: assessing your breast cancer risk

If you are concerned about your family history of breast cancer, you may be able to have a risk assessment to find out your level of risk. Learn more.

OP posts:
Hopelesslydevotedtoshrews · 26/09/2023 17:18

That's horrifying, I wonder if there's any research into why some groups are less likely to attend screening.

RethinkingLife · 26/09/2023 17:31

Hopelesslydevotedtoshrews · 26/09/2023 17:18

That's horrifying, I wonder if there's any research into why some groups are less likely to attend screening.

There's a fair amount of research in progress. CRUK has an entire funding programme devoted to early diagnosis and the non-involvement and lack of screening with underserved communities and demographics is a substantial element of that.

This is an example with a number of useful references.

Research has found that in England cancer stigma is linked to lower screening uptake and is more common among people from ethnic minority backgroundsAnother study found that Black people in England were less likely than White people to have their cancer diagnosed through screening. Cancer stigma may be contributing to lower screening uptake in people from ethnic minority backgrounds compared to people from White ethnic groups. 
Exactly how stigma affects cancer screening behaviour is complex. However, it’s helpful to consider how fear and taboo (avoidance of something for social, cultural or religious reasons) could contribute. 
“I think the stigma is a lot about fear,” explains Dr Marlow. “There’s a real overlap, fear that if you get cancer it’s a bad thing to have. People don’t talk about cancer, and if it’s not talked about, then obviously the awareness is going to be lower.” 
Speaking from her perspective as part of the South Asian community, Iyna observes that conversations about cancer often only happen when someone has died from it. “It’s about knowledge and education. The only stories you’re actually hearing are because you’re at a funeral, not because you’ve heard all the positive stories of people living with cancer or people who’ve had it and survived. Because people from the community won’t talk about it.”  

One example of a taboo is where there’s a tradition of female modesty. Cervical and breast screening may be seen to breach norms and values around modesty
Iyna explains that, in her experience, “When you see a campaign on social media or on the TV, and you see nudity, [some South Asian people] are going to scroll by, they’re going to change the channel. Nudity is not something they want to promote in their household. And when you add in cancer, you’re adding in the stigma attached to any sort of health issues, on top of it being linked to your body parts, which [have] been sexualised.” 
Because cervical cancer risk is linked to a person’s sexual history, being seen to attend cervical screening and the possibility of a positive result could lead to perceptions of promiscuity and have potential social implications.

Health inequalities: breaking down barriers to cancer screening - Cancer Research UK - Cancer News

In this instalment of our Health Inequalities series, we take a look at some of the barriers that can make it harder for some people to access cancer screening.

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