Breast Cancer Care sets sights on UK’s minorities

Results of the largest-ever research project into breast cancer awareness among black and minority ethnic (BME) groups has prompted Breast Cancer Care to highlight the dangers of the disease.

After compiling anecdotal evidence from Breast Cancer Care staff and volunteers, the charity commissioned Ethnic Focus to run a survey of 1,633 women from BME groups across the UK.

Nearly a third of those interviewed said they had  little knowledge of breast cancer, while 43 per cent said they had never checked for signs of the disease.

Previous surveys of the general population found 15 per cent had limited knowledge of the condition, while  only 11 per cent had never checked themselves.

More than half of the BME women surveyed also said they were unaware that the risks of contracting breast cancer increased with age – more than double the number of non-BME women unaware of the age-related risks.

Breast Cancer Care research manager Karen Scanlon described the fact that breast cancer messages were not reaching BME groups as a 'wake-up call'.

The charity's head of communications, Christina McGill, said the survey's results would be released to mark the beginning of a
nationwide awareness campaign called 'Same difference' to tackle the problem.

'We will be running a media relations campaign targeting BME women across the national, consumer and BME press. We will also be using our regional offices to gain coverage through local case studies,' said McGill.

'Because of its high BME density, London is an important area, so we will work with radio stations in the capital. We also want to get involved with discussion items in the broadcast media across the UK,' she added.

A PA campaign will begin in mid-October after the end of the party conference season, McGill said.

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