Breast screening and ethnic minority women: a literature review

Br J Nurs. 1999;8(19):1284-8. doi: 10.12968/bjon.1999.8.19.1284.


The incidence of breast cancer is reported to be low among ethnic minority women. However, the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer in this group is expected to rise over the next decade, as a result of changes in lifestyle and environmental factors. Despite the introduction of the NHS Breast Screening Programme in 1988, the uptake of breast cancer screening services remains low among minority women. The main reasons identified for this low uptake are a lack of knowledge among women from the ethnic communities about screening services and a lack of referral/recommendations by healthcare professionals and physicians. Future initiatives need to target appropriate education strategies for healthcare professionals on the needs of ethnic groups, as for many women this will be their first point of contact within the screening programme.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia, Southeastern / ethnology
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Minority Groups / education*
  • Minority Groups / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology