Elderly women were given tips on how to detect the early signs of breast cancer at an Asian community centre.
Sanga, in Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware, hosted the Be Clear on Cancer Awareness event for its senior citizens club, to highlight how early diagnosis can save lives.
Research shows older women from the South Asian community are more likely to delay presenting symptoms of breast cancer to their GP out of embarrassment or because they dismiss it as signs of aging.
Tarlika Patel, Macmillan Cancer information and support manager, spoke to members of the community about the importance of being aware of breast cancer and fears and cultural barriers that may exist.
She said: “The fears and taboos that have existed in our culture for generations are still prevalent today. Society has moved on but attitudes about cancer remain largely unchanged, particularly among the senior generation.
“This is the generation that don’t like going to the doctor, they feel that talking about cancer is almost tempting fate, they don’t want to be a burden, cannot face the embarrassment still associated with the disease or they simply think that things will get better in their own time.
“It is up to our younger generations to change this attitude. We have to talk to our mothers, mothers-in-law and aunts about the symptoms.”
For more information on breast cancer visit www.nhs.uk/breastcancer70