22 Jun 2018

Pasifika in NZ twice as likely to die of breast cancer than Pākehā

6:55 am on 22 June 2018

A new study has found stark inequalities in breast cancer survival rates in New Zealand, with Pasifika women twice as likely to die from it than Pakeha women.

More than 600 New Zealanders die from breast cancer every year, and thousands more are diagnosed with it.

A pink ribbon symbolising breast cancer

Photo: 123RF

The University of Waikato study found that Pasifika women diagnosed with breast cancer are almost twice as likely to die from the disease, after five years, compared to Pakeha.

Lead investigator Professor Ross Lawrenson said Pasifika women were more likely to have an aggressive type of cancer, and get it diagnosed too late.

He said the outcomes for Maori women were not much better, and Maori women were also less likely to undertake chemotherapy.

Professor Lawrenson said it needed to be easier and cheaper to see a doctor and get a diagnosis, and breast screening should be more accessible.

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Photo: 123RF

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