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Higher mortality from breast cancer for the foreign-born citizens in Sweden

Tuesday, 10 January 2012
There is lower risk of breast cancer in Sweden on the whole but higher risk of death for those who suffer from it. This is so particularly if one compares the effects of the diseases on foreign born women with their counterpart born in Sweden.

Language difficulties has been blamed as one of the impediments for contact with care for those who still find it hard to speak Swedish as well as the difficulties in understanding the system.
This means that foreign-born with breast cancer are detected later, according to Associate Professor Dr Moradi at the Karolinska Institute.

The higher mortality may also be due to ignorance and lower participation in screening programs, but much remains to be investigated in terms of causes. The same applies to the fact that immigrant women are at lower risk of contracting the disease.

“It is very interesting, we do not know that much. I think we have a great asset in all immigrants with much lower risk of breast cancer. Then one can examine their lifestyle,” says Dr Moradi.

That immigrant’s children born in Sweden have the same risk as other Swedish born Swedish people is a sign that lifestyle factors may seem a very important force.

Researchers have also examined how education influences the risk of contracting breast cancer, regardless of place of birth. Lowly educated women are at lower risk than the highly educated. But even in that case the risk of dying is greater.
“But with proper education the more knowledge and the ease to get a mammography,” says Dr Moradi.

According to the study, women with the longest education are 20 – 30 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than less educated women. On the flipside, the 30 – 40 percent lowers risk of dying from the disease than less educated women.

Foreign-born women who have been diagnosed after age 50 and those born abroad who have been diagnosed during the study last ten years are more likely to die compared to the same group born in Swedish.

About five million women have been followed between 1961 and 2007. The study was conducted with the help of the database of Migration and Health and published in the journal Breast Cancer Research.
By Scancomark.se Team


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