On the pulse 20 June 2013

  • Beacon on the Hill
  • Patient Support Group with Dr Anmol Malhotra
  • Research indicates an increase in breast cancer risk for British Asian women
  • Study shows women from more deprived areas are less likely to attend breast cancer screening

Beacon on the Hill
The countdown has begun! With the beacon being lit this Saturday, everyone at Cancerkin is very excited. Messages of hope and dedication are continuing to come in and can be seen on our website.

If you would like to get involved, there’s still time to sponsor a bottle before the Beacon gets lit this weekend (22nd June 2013). For as little as £1, you can help us to illuminate the night with your hope, thoughts and support. To light your light on this beacon, simply visit our website to see the numerous ways you can get involved, or visit our JustGiving page to sponsor a bottle directly.

Patient Support Group with Dr Anmol Malhotra
The next Patient Support Group will take place on Tuesday 25 June and we are delighted to be joined by Dr Anmol Malhotra, Lead Imaging Consultant from the Royal Free Hospital. Dr Malhotra has been a Consultant Radiologist with an interest in breast and oncology imaging at the Royal Free since 2005 and performs breast screening in the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme. He will be discussing recent imaging innovations that have made significant difference to patients and possible future innovations that are on the horizon.

Please note that the session will begin at 2pm, not the usual time of 11am. Spaces are limited, so please call us on 0207 830 2323 or email r.ved@cancerkin.org.uk if you have any questions or to book your place.

Research indicates an increase in breast cancer risk for British Asian women
Research carried out by the University of Sheffield has found that the breast cancer risk for British Asian women has increased.

The study examined breast cancer rates in the South Asian population in Leicester. Previous studies have shown that South Asian women have a lower risk of the disease than white British women. However, this research indicated that there had been a significant increase in breast cancer incidence in this ethnic group in recent years.

The researchers considered breast cancer incidence data from the National Cancer Registration Service and 2001 census data to calculate rates of breast cancer for women from different ethnic backgrounds over a 10 year period (from 2000 to 2009). The trends in incidence were then compared between South Asians and other ethnicities.

They found that between 2000 and 2004, South Asian women had a 45 per cent lower rate of breast cancer than white women. However, by the 2005 to 2009 period, rates of breast cancer amongst South Asian women had risen significantly and were 8 per cent higher than white women, whose rates had not significantly changed. This change was statistically significant in South Asians over 65 years, with women in this group now having a 37 per cent higher risk of breast cancer than white women.

Dr Matthew Day, study leader, said: “Historically South Asian women, and women in lower socio-economic groups, have been considered at lower risk of developing breast cancer. Based on our study in Leicester, this should no longer be considered the case.”

However, Dr Day does add that the cause of this increase is not known: “The exact causes behind this change are not clear cut, they could relate to increases in screening uptake among these groups of women, which have in the past been shown to be lower than in other groups. Or they could be due to changes in lifestyle factors, like having fewer children and having them later in life, increased use of oral contraceptives, and increased smoking and alcohol intake – factors linked to increased breast cancer risk across the board.”

Dr Mick Peake, clinical lead at Public Health England’s National Cancer Intelligence Network, said: “The results of the Leicester study should assist public health services to both plan for, and respond to, the changing risk profile of breast cancer in the population, particularly with regards to Asian women who for a long time have been another group whose attendance rate for screening has been low. At the individual level, if women are concerned about breast cancer, they should speak to their GP.”

For more information, please see the BBC website or Inside Government.

Study shows women from more deprived areas are less likely to attend breast cancer screening
Researchers from Public Health England (PHE) and King’s College London have found that women who live in more deprived areas of London are less likely to attend their first routine breast cancer screening appointment.

The study considered the records of 159,000 women aged between 50 and 52 living in London to see whether they attended their first routine breast cancer screening appointment between 2006 and 2009. They found that the largest difference in attendance was in the South East London area, with 73% of women living in the most affluent areas attending their screening appointment, compared with 59% of women in the most deprived areas attending.

Ruth Jack, an epidemiologist from PHE London and study leader, said: “It’s worrying that breast cancer screening uptake is different depending on the deprivation of the area women live in. We need to make sure that things like cost of travel and having time away from work aren’t making it harder for women from more deprived areas to go for screening. Some screening areas within London have a more similar uptake across their area. Any initiatives that have improved attendance in women in deprived areas or from particular ethnic groups should be shared across London and the country.”

For more information, please see the Inside Government website.

Cancerkin runs free community based awareness events across East London which aim to increase knowledge of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and also to explain clearly the process of breast cancer screening. If you know of a local group or organisation that would benefit from a talk, please contact Anisah on 020 7830 2323 or email eastldn@cancerkin.org.uk.


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