Mavis and Sasha re-opened the conversation about cancer in March 2021. This time the event was opened by Dr Rose Thompson, Chief Executive and Founder of BME Cancer Communities and Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Sistas Against Cancer. She shared her outstanding contribution and wealth of knowledge around the care and experience of diverse communities affected by cancer. This was followed by a lively panel discussion around cancer and cancer genetics to help us think about the question ‘does cancer affect us all equally?’
Screening for the cancers common in the general population in the UK is offered through national screening programmes. This is usually for breast cancer, bowel cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer. They are all done at different frequencies and ages depending on your family history and sometimes ethnicity.
It is important that you attend screening when recommended and do self checks.
If particular cancers are more common in your family or you have a higher personal risk your GP, family history nurse or genetic counsellor can work out what screening you should be having and how often. This may be as frequent as every year.
Breast and bowel cancer are two of the most common cancers to affect people of African descent in the UK. Prostate cancer is also a cancer common in men. The risk of prostate is doubled in men of African and Caribbean descent compared to men of European descent.
The risk of cancers can be different based on the country or population you are from. People of African descent in other parts of the world may have different risks.
Although breast, bowel and prostate cancer are not usually hereditary, they can be sometimes. You should talk your GP if you are worried they may run in your family.