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.
Providing a much-needed support, a Muslim woman from Leicester launched a support group to help people living with the disease in the British Asian community, Asian Image reported.
Allia Amjad’s efforts started after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, sharing her own experience on Instagram and receiving questions from strangers who felt unable to take to family or friends.
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“I shared parts of my experience on Instagram and a few ladies who had cancer got in touch with me,” Amjad said.
“When I started hearing other women’s stories, I decided I needed to do something. I had so much support from loved ones, but not everyone is so blessed. How are people supposed to get help if they can’t talk about these things?”
She has also teamed up with Macmillan to provide a safe space where women in North East Leicester can come together to talk about their cancer experience.
“A support group is so needed in this area. The most important things is awareness. We need to be more open when talking about cancer and encourage people to access support services. People don’t ask for support, they suffer in silence. That’s why I wanted to work with Macmillan,” Amjad said.
“The support group will be a place for people to come and talk about these things. It’s about breaking down barriers.
“It will be for anyone who’s had any kind of interaction with cancer, so could be family or friends, or someone who’s lost a family member. Because it doesn’t just affect one person, it affects their whole family.”
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.
A few weeks ago, another British Muslim woman, Naz Vander, started raising funds to help spread awareness in the BAME community in Halliwell, Bolton.