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Knowledge of the risk factors and symptoms associated with endometrial cancer in British South Asian and British White women

      Abstract

      Objective

      To explore differences in the background knowledge of Endometrial Cancer (EC), its risk factors, symptoms and prognosis of Endometrial Cancer (EC) between British White (BW) and British South Asian (BSA) women who had undergone treatment for stage I endometrial cancer within the past 3-years.

      Study design

      Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews exploring knowledge; diagnosis; treatment; follow-up; and survivorship were undertaken and analysed using Thematic Analysis.

      Results

      Twenty-one women were interviewed (13 BW and 8 BSA). BW and BSA women reported similar views, experiences and concerns with regards to EC. Knowledge appeared to differ amongst the two groups with BSA women reporting being more aware that unscheduled vaginal bleeding could be associated with a malignancy but having lower levels of knowledge of the risk factors that can lead to EC, compared to BW women. There was a lack of understanding of the difference between cervical cancer and EC and as a result, many women reported taking reassurance from negative cervical cytology as excluding EC. There was also the misconception amongst some of the women that there was a link between sexual behaviour and EC. Women from both groups used the lay healthcare system to discuss their situation/symptoms, however BSA women reported to have specifically sought out women within their social network who had previously undergone treatment for EC.

      Conclusions

      Greater effort is needed to raise awareness in both the BW/BSA communities of the symptoms associated with EC that should prompt medical review. Educational efforts are required to overcome the reported perception that EC is synonymous with cervical cancer and cannot be detected by cervical screening.

      Keywords

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