Black women more likely to be diagnosed with late stage breast cancer than white women

November 16, 2016, Cancer Research UK
Micrograph showing a lymph node invaded by ductal breast carcinoma, with extension of the tumour beyond the lymph node. Credit: Nephron/Wikipedia

Black African women are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with late stage breast cancer as white women in England according to new analysis from Cancer Research UK and Public Health England released today (Wednesday).

Twenty five per cent of Black African women and 22 per cent of Black Caribbean women diagnosed with are picked up at stage three and four.

This compares to thirteen per cent of white British women.

This is the first time data on more specific ethnic groups and their stage at diagnosis from across England has been routinely released, helping to build a clearer picture of who is diagnosed at an early or late stage.

Ethnicity and stage at diagnosis was collected for women diagnosed with breast in England in 2012 and 2013.

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 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 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 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."

Explore further: Breast cancer awareness: What women need to know

Related Stories

Breast cancer awareness: What women need to know

September 28, 2016
As national Breast Cancer Awareness Months begins next week, breast health expert Dr. Sharon Koehler of New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, says women need to know the following five things:

Screening gets top marks for picking up bowel cancer early

January 21, 2016
BOWEL cancer is more likely to be diagnosed at the earliest stage if it is picked up by screening, according to new figures released by Cancer Research UK and Public Health England's National Cancer Intelligence Network today ...

Women with diabetes more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer

March 24, 2015
Diabetes is associated with more advanced stage breast cancer, according to a new study by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Women's College Hospital.

Middle-aged more likely to be diagnosed with advanced lung cancer

June 13, 2016
Younger patients - aged 50 to 64 - are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage lung cancer than older patients according to new data being presented at the Cancer Outcomes and Data Conference in Manchester today.

Age affects risk of being diagnosed with cancer at advanced stage

March 2, 2012
Older women with breast cancer face a higher risk of being diagnosed with the disease at a late stage, while the risk of an advanced stage diagnosis of lung cancer decreases with age, a new study shows today.

Deprivation responsible for 450 breast cancer deaths each year

November 5, 2013
Deprivation could be responsible for around 450 deaths from breast cancer every year in England as women in lower income groups are likely to be diagnosed when the disease is more advanced, and treatment is less effective.

Recommended for you

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

January 16, 2018
WASHINGTON-(Jan. 16, 2018)-Tumors have come up with ingenious strategies that enable them to evade detection and destruction by the immune system. So, a research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers ...

Researchers identify new treatment target for melanoma

January 16, 2018
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous ...

More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

January 16, 2018
Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by epidemiologists ...

Researchers develop a remote-controlled cancer immunotherapy system

January 15, 2018
A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.

Dietary fat, changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis

January 15, 2018
Prostate tumors tend to be what scientists call "indolent" - so slow-growing and self-contained that many affected men die with prostate cancer, not of it. But for the percentage of men whose prostate tumors metastasize, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.