Diversity & Equality in Health and Care Open Access

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Critical review of literature on ethnicity and health in relation to cancer and palliative care in the United Kingdom

Judy Redman, Gina Marie Awoko Higginbottom, Marie Therese Massey

This article reviews 31 articles on ethnicity and cancer/palliative care that were identified during the course of a broader study that aimed to comprehensively review UK research literature on ‘race’, ethnicity and health published between 2000 and 2005. It considers: epidemiology of cancer in black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in the UK; risks and awareness; screening; and palliative and end-of-life care. Overall, the research studies we reviewed were limited with respect to one or all of: the range of cancers considered, population/sample, geographical area studied, and the meanings and experiences of cancer for patients and their families/ carers. Cancer has been relatively less prevalent among the UK’s BME communities than in the general population. However, changes in the incidence and pattern of cancer  amongBMEcommunities in the UK suggest the need for further research into risk factors as well as the views of service users and providers in order to enhance health promotion and access to appropriate services.