This year’s Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month (EMCAM) kicked off in July, with the aim of raising awareness of bowel cancer and the importance of screening among Britain’s ethnic minority communities.
More than half of us in England will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, however awareness of cancer and uptake of linked services is lower among ethnic minorities who tend to be diagnosed when the disease is more advanced, which in many cases can lead to poorer survival.
Research indicates that some cancers are more common among particular communities and groups. For example:
- African-Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to their British counterparts
- Mouth cancer is more common among South Asian communities
- Liver cancer is higher among Bangladeshi and Chinese communities
NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has a duty to ensure that there is equality of access to treatment within the services that they commission to reduce health inequalities.
Initiatives undertaken by the organisation include the distribution of translated cancer awareness materials amongst the town’s Muslim community. The leaflets, available in Arabic, Somali and Urdu are also available digitally on the organisation’s website and have also been sent out for display in GP practices and community centres.
The organisation has also recently heard a patient story at their governing body meeting delivered by a representative of Doncaster’s Conversation Club. The group, which supports asylum seekers within the town, have highlighted challenges in accessing health services and where inequalities can be addressed.
Curtis Henry, Equality and Engagement Officer at the CCG, said: “It’s important to support campaigns such as ethnic minority cancer awareness month. Cancer is a disease that will affect everyone in their lifetime, whether personally or through friends or family, and it’s crucial that everyone is aware of the signs and symptoms.
“We have done work with certain communities within the borough, but it’s clear that more can be, and should be, done to make sure that we reduce health inequalities. By supporting EMCAM we hope to spread the message about the importance of awareness of cancer and hope to reduce incidents of late diagnosis.”