Breast cancer screening and cultural barriers: Why some women are missing early detection

ABC, Saturday 3 January, 2018

Some women say it’s fate. Others believe in “God’s will”. Then there are those who simply feel uncomfortable talking about their breasts. When it comes to breast cancer screening in culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD), there are varied and complex reasons that can hinder important messages about early detection.

A recent analysis of five studies involving more than 1,700 first-generation Chinese, African, Arabic, Korean and Indian-Australian women found just 19 per cent identified as “breast aware”, and only 27 per cent aged 40 or above had participated in annual clinical breast exams.

Lead researcher Dr Cannas Kwok, who’s been investigating the breast cancer beliefs and attitudes of migrant Australian women since 2005, says the results, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, are concerning.

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