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Breast Cancer in Black Women: Twice The Risk, More Advanced; Awareness And Screening As Vital Prevention

Update Date: Nov 17, 2016 10:30 AM EST

Black women often have double the risk of having late-stage breast cancer as compared to white women. This finding is attributed to the reluctance and refusal of women to undergo screening as a crucial step to prevention.

A new analysis was performed by the Cancer Research UK and Public Health England, looking into medical reports and data on the prevalence of breast cancer among black women. More black women have late-stage or more advanced breast cancer as compared to white women.

The data are as follows: 25 percent of black African women, 22 percent of black Caribbean and 13 percent of white women have late-stage breast cancer. There are cultural factors at play here for black women are less likely to undergo screening.

Most of the black women interviewed claim that many of them refuse to have a mammogram out of denial that they could be sick as reported in The Times. Those who have medical issues often resort to religion or the power of will to resolve their problem.

Evidently, awareness is a primary consideration. Black women are not aware of the importance of screening and early detection that could potentially save their lives.

Dr. Julie Sharp of Cancer Research UK says that women who may experience lumps in their breast, nipple discharge, or skin changes around the nipple need to seek out medical help at once. Sharp stresses the importance of detection, which is life saving.

In the United Kingdom, screening for breast cancer or mammogram is provided for all women with ages 50 to 70 years old as reported by BBC News. There is an ongoing trial to offer the said screening to a lower age group like 47 years old women to find out its impact on preventing breast cancer deaths.

Another concern of health officials is that younger generations of black women are also missing out on awareness and intervention for cervical cancer. One-third of black women under 50 years old are not receiving proper medical information like tests for cervical cancer, which in its early stages show no symptoms.

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