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Although cancer incidence rates are often lower in ethnic minority groups than in the general population of England, rates
are rising in some minority groups to equal or exceed general population prevalence. Mortality and morbidity are reduced
through early detection, but South Asian women are less likely to participate in cancer screening programmes for breast and
cervical cancer than the general female population of the UK. Low screening rates and delayed symptom reporting in South
Asian women are attributable to culturally-related factors such as communication barriers, fear of cancer, stigmatism and
embarrassment over medical procedures/screening practices. In depth, information is required to understand precisely how
these barriers are experienced by women, how they influence behaviour, how they vary between different cultural subgroups
and how they can be overcome. The purpose of this review is to collate information on studies of asymptomatic screening
attendance by South Asian women for breast and cervical cancer. We will synthesize the literature concerning cultural and
individual beliefs and attitudes and their effects on individual women’s screening attendance. This review aims to inform policy
on targeting relevant public health messages to the South Asian communities about screening for cancer and be useful for
healthcare commissioners to decide how best to invest resources in areas with large ethnic groups.
Pooja Saini has completed her PhD from University of Manchester and Post-doctoral studies from University of Liverpool. She is a Knowledge Exchange and Implementation Manager for NIHR CLAHRC NWC. She has published more than 10 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as the Co-Princliple Investigator for the systematic review, Co-Founder of Women Reach Women CIC and is an active member of the Asian Breast Cancer Support Goup promoting improvements in healthcare, health promotion & research in the UK's South Asian communities.