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Black women face breast cancer risk

Researchers have found that black women in the UK develop breast cancer two decades earlier than white women.

A study, published online in the British Journal of Cancer, found that black patients were typically diagnosed with breast cancer at 46 while white patients were typically diagnosed with the disease at 67.

The study focussed on 102 black British women and 191 white women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at Homerton University Hospital in Hackney, East London, over an 11-year period.

The research was carried out by scientists based at the Institute of Cancer and Cancer Research UK clinical centre at Barts and the London.

Dr Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK's director of cancer information, said: "This is very interesting research.

"The fact that black women are being diagnosed with breast cancer at a much younger age than white women is clearly worrying.

"If these results are confirmed in follow-up studies, it might be appropriate to alter screening services offered to black women to better reflect the age at which they are diagnosed with breast cancer.

"But at the moment it's too early to suggest any changes to the screening programme because the study was so small."

British Journal of Cancer

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