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A new research project, led by Dr Toral Gathani and funded by Cancer Research UK, aims to shed light on the variation in breast cancer in different ethnic minority groups.

Toral will investigate why women from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to get breast cancer, but why it is more likely to be a more aggressive form of the disease when they do.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, but analysis of national data has shown women from Black Caribbean and Black-African backgrounds are significantly more likely to have more advanced disease at diagnosis than White British women.

Additionally, this analysis which studied women aged 30-70 in England, using national data, has shown that those from certain ethnic minority backgrounds had significantly greater odds of less favourable tumour characteristics compared to White women, and that these differences are more marked in Black compared to Asian groups.

Dr Gathani’s three-year project will use existing data from large national studies and the National Cancer Registry Service in England to look at breast cancer incidence rates and how breast cancer risk factors such as weight, alcohol intake and reproductive factors, may differ in different ethnic groups.

Cancer Research UK have funded the project with £101,000 for the first year with future funding planned for a further two years.

The results will help us to better understand breast cancer for women with an ethnic minority background.

Commenting on the funding, Toral said:

 “This is an important research project with direct public health relevance. If we can establish the barriers people face in accessing healthcare and describe the pattern of risk factors in certain groups, we can work to improve cancer outcomes.”

Read the full story on the Cancer Research UK website