A quarter of women under 40 have never checked themselves for breast cancer believing they are too young, don’t think it will affect them – or they are just too busy. The study of 2,000 women found half of all women do not regularly check their breasts for signs of cancer.
Women aged 18 to 39 are the least likely to look for signs of cancer, with a tenth believing they are not old enough to suffer the illness.
But a quarter admit they do not have the confidence to inspect themselves, while one in ten put it off in case they find a lump.
It also emerged women from South Asian backgrounds are the least likely to examine themselves compared to other ethnicities, with 40 percent admitting to never checking at all.
This drops to 27 percent of black women and just 13 percent of those of other ethnicities.
Of the South Asian women polled, who don’t check themselves for signs of breast cancer, more than a third said they forget or don’t know what they are looking for.
While more than one in twenty (seven percent) don’t feel comfortable checking themselves due to cultural reasons.
It also emerged compared to other ethnicities, black women are least likely to feel confident they know how to check or what to look for (43 percent), and 15 percent fear being judged by others.
It’s incredibly important for younger women to realise they’re not immune from breast cancer; it’s not just a disease that affects women at a later life stage
The study was commissioned by The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) UK & Ireland’s Breast Cancer Campaign, which is holding its second “Time to Unite” event at 7pm on Wednesday 20th October, with the aim of being the world’s largest virtual self-check.
Elizabeth Hurley will be joined by Alesha Dixon and Victoria Derbyshire, as well as breast cancer survivors including Leanne Pero and Lauren Mahon, as Dr Zoe Williams conducts a step-by-step self-check demonstration.
Leanne Pero, breast cancer survivor and founder of Black Women Rising, said: “It worries me that this new research reveals that a fifth of women in Black and South Asian communities wrongly believe that breast cancer only affects white middle-aged women.
“While Black women are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer,. “Brinkwire Summary News”.