A new study claims that the risk of breast cancer in South Asian women in the UK has increased significantly. Previous studies in the UK have found that incidence of breast cancer is lower in the South Asian population compared to other groups. Researchers from the University of Sheffield discovered a significant increase in breast cancer cases in South Asian women, a group, who were previously considered at lower risk.
Experts examined breast cancer rates in the South Asian population in Leicester.
The Data received for Breast cancer from the National Cancer Registration Service and 2001 census were used to calculate rates of the condition over a 10 year period between 2000 and 2009. Trends were compared between South Asian women and other ethnicities between socioeconomic groups.
Between 2000-2004, South Asian women were found to have a 45 per cent lower rate of breast cancer compared to white women – as found in previous studies However, by the 2005-2009 period, rates of breast cancer among South Asian women had increased significantly and was eight per cent higher than white women, whose rates had not changed over the study period.
In South Asian women over the age of 65 years, this change was statistically significant with a 37 per cent higher risk of breast cancer than white women. For all ethnicities combined, rates of breast cancer did not change with socioeconomic deprivation in 2000-2004, but in 2005-2009 it increased with socioeconomic deprivation, contrary to national trends, researchers said.
Lead study author, Matthew Day, said that, “Historically South Asian women, and women in lower socioeconomic 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.” “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.