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Life-Saving Project Encourages Muslim Women to Attend Cancer Tests

  • Sunderland University project encourages Muslim women to attend cancer screening tests
  • Backed by Muslim scholars and public health experts, the project received £350,000 from Cancer Research UK.
  • It aims to break barriers preventing women from coming forward to seek help

Cooperating with Muslim scholars, a Sunderland university has launched a new project to encourage Muslim women to attend life-saving breast, cervical, and bowel cancer screening tests.

The project aims to demystify cancer screening and remove barriers that might prevent Muslim women from coming forward, Chronicle Live reported.

“Women can be uncertain as to how screening fits in with their faith, and it will be a great privilege to help guide women and assist with any religious concerns they may have about cervical, breast and bowel cancer screening,” said Cerysh Sadiq, a Muslim scholar at the medical school.

📚 Read Also: Muslim Cancer Survivor Starts Support Group for Patients

Backed by Muslim scholars in Sunderland and public health experts at the university’s medical school, the project received £350,000 from Cancer Research UK.

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Cerysh will deliver a religious perspective on the importance of cancer screening as part of the three-year project.

Project lead Dr. Floor Christie-de Jong, associate professor in public health in Sunderland, said it was vital to tackle inequalities in cancer screening uptake.

“One size does not fit all and to allow women to make informed decisions about cancer screening we need to use targeted approaches,” she added.

“Working in partnership with the community and using assets from that community in a positive way, can help to tackle these inequities.”

Tests for All

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK Chief Executive, agreed, saying, “Tackling inequalities is absolutely crucial to ensuring everyone, regardless of where they live or their ethnic background, has the best chance against cancer.

“We know people from ethnic minorities may be less likely to respond to cancer screening invitations and hopefully this project will encourage more people to take up such opportunities, and to find out what barriers prevent them doing so.”

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Early detection through screening is important in preventing deaths, but Muslim women are among the fewest to get tested.

For decades, women diagnosed with breast cancer in many communities have been in the shadows, fearing to speak about their disease to their friends or seek treatment.

Last year, Allia Amjad, a Muslim woman from Leicester, launched a support group to help people living with the disease in the British Asian community

A few weeks earlier, another British Muslim woman, Naz Vander, started raising funds to help spread awareness in the BAME community in Halliwell, Bolton.