11 July 2011
Black people in the UK are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with stomach cancer , warns leading cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support during Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Week (11-17 July 2011).
Evidence reveals a disproportionally high number of black men and women suffering from the disease, however, until now no formal research has been done to fully understand why these disparities in stomach cancer exist. Different diets in the black community, smoking, and lack of cancer awareness, could be some of the risk factors leading to higher stomach cancer rates.
Warning symptoms of stomach cancer can include:
- heartburn or indigestion that doesn’t go away
- difficulty in swallowing
- a bloated feeling after eating
- losing weight
Ellen Lang, Senior Cancer Information Nurse at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'If you have any symptoms of stomach cancer described we would urge you to see your GP immediately who will examine you and arrange any tests or x-rays that may be necessary. Many of the symptoms are common to conditions other than cancer but it’s important to have them checked out.
'There are many ways black people can reduce their risk of stomach cancer - quit smoking and eat a healthy diet with more green leafy vegetables, fruit, less salt and processed meat.'
For cancer support at home, over the phone, call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 8pm), which offers an interpretation service in over 200 languages or visit macmillan.org.uk
For further information, please contact:
Julie Wills, Assistant Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4933
Notes to Editors:
 NCIN (2009) Cancer Incidence and Survival By Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002 - 2006
 Around 8,000 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer in the UK every year
About Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Week
Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Week is organised by a collaboration of leading charities including Macmillan Cancer Support to increase awareness and early diagnosis of cancer among ethnic minority communities and groups. Many people in ethnic communities tend to be diagnosed when cancer is more advanced, leading to poorer survival.
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.