BRITONS risk dying prematurely from cancer due to ignorance

July 13, 2017

Around 55 per cent of English-speaking Asians wanted information on cancer to be conveyed to them in their own language and 50 per cent would like to read leaflets in an Asian language.

The study also found that more British Asian patients were alone during their diagnosis of cancer when compared with British white patients.

The vast majority of both groups thought friends and family should be present during the diagnosis. Around 25 per cent of Asian patients were not aware that friends or family could come to the consultation.

Dr Symonds says: "This study adds to the growing evidence that suggests the majority of people with cancer want to be fully informed about their illness whether the news is good or bad.

"The results show that first-generation British Asians prefer information on diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options to be given to them by their GP and not a nurse or hospital specialist.

"This is because many Asian patients in Leicester have Asian GPs and cultural and linguistic bonds mean they are more comfortable speaking to their doctor.

"In practice, most patients will be given their diagnosis by a hospital specialist but they should be encouraged to discuss their illness further with their GP in an Asian language if that is their preference.

"To facilitate these discussions letters could be rapidly sent to GPs after the cancer diagnosis listing recommendations for treatment and an assessment of prognosis."

Dr Lesley Walker, Director of Cancer Information at Cancer Research UK, which owns the British Journal of Cancer, says: "All communities should have access to clear, high quality information on cancer. We need to tailor health information to make sure important messages reach everyone irrespective of background, race or religion."