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By Newsdesk

 


Sunday, April 06, 2014.

 

 

A church in London hosted the NHS Be Clear on Cancer awareness roadshow on Saturday, to highlight that early diagnosis of breast cancer can save lives even in women aged 70 and over.

 

The ‘Celebrate You’ special women’s conference took place at New Wine Church in Woolwich, South East London, and attracted a mixed audience of Black African and Caribbean women of all ages, and many visited the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ stand where they were given vital information about breast cancer.

 

Surprisingly, recent studies show that two thirds of women aged 70 and over (67 per cent)[i] wrongly think women of all ages are equally likely to get breast cancer, when in fact a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with age. The reality is that one third of women that are diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 70.

 

Research also shows that older women, particularly from Black African and Caribbean communities are more likely to delay presenting to their GP with symptoms of breast cancer. They might be embarrassed, afraid of treatment or dismiss potential symptoms as a sign of ageing. This combined with cultural taboos and low levels of awareness and understanding of the signs and symptoms can reduce their chances of early diagnosis and survival.

 

Since launching in February, the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign has helped to encourage women from Black British communities to recognise the signs and symptoms associated with this disease, to talk to their daughters or grand-daughters and to visit their doctor immediately if they spot any changes in their breasts.

 

Charmaine Case, Macmillan Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist, spoke to members of the community about the importance of being breast aware and fears and cultural barriers that may exist.

 

She said: “There are so many fears and taboos that are ingrained into our culture. There is also a generation that don’t like going to the doctor, they feel that talking about cancer is almost tempting fate, they don’t want to be a burden, or they simply think that things will get better in their own time. If the younger generations don’t talk to their mothers, mothers-in-law and aunts about the symptoms, then the women at greater risk will not take action. We need to change these attitudes, including the belief that cancer is an automatic death sentence. That is no longer the case and the fact is, the sooner you go to the doctor and receive treatment, the better your chances of survival.”

 

 

Zina Arinze – Girlfriends Team, The Women’s Ministry of New Wine Church, said: "We were very happy to host the Be Clear on Cancer road show at our special ‘Celebrate You’ 2014 – No More Limits Girlfriends conference. It proved to be a great success and provided a wonderful opportunity not only to inform women about breast cancer symptoms, but also to eradicate the ignorance which still exists around the issue of cancer.

 

Now more than ever, Breast Cancer awareness has been on the fore front in the media, it was therefore our intention to provide a platform for women who attended the event to have access to information which concerns them greatly.

 

We feel the women received vital information from the Be Clear On Cancer team, who were on hand to talk candidly about breast health. With this in mind, our aim was to impart practical wisdom to our faith, and give the women enough information to make informed choices around their health, which I believe we achieved at this wonderful event." 

 

 

London Church Hosts Breast Cancer Awareness Event Highlighting How Early Diagnosis Saves Lives

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