New partnership aims to support Bradford families to take part in cancer screening

04 May 2022

Families in Bradford will be supported with education and resources to help increase participation in cancer screening.

Following a new partnership between the University of Bradford and Yorkshire Cancer Research, a deep exploration of how cancer screening rates can be increased will be carried out with thousands of members of the South Asian community.

Researchers will consult with community groups and members of the Muslim community including Leaders and Imams, to find new ways to encourage people to take part in the life-saving health checks.

New information and resources will then be shared with thousands of people living in Bradford through Mosques, Madrassas, educational settings, youth groups and peer support groups.

The £441,000 programme, funded by the regional charity, will be led by Dr Melanie Cooper and Professor Marcus Rattray, who specialise in working in partnership with communities to support people to have better health and access health services.

Halima Iqbal, a researcher at Bradford Institute for Health Research, said:

“As a Muslim Pakistani woman living in Bradford myself, it is concerning that Muslim South Asian women living in Bradford are considerably less likely to have cervical, breast and bowel screening. This means that thousands of people are missing out on these important tests which can both prevent cancer and find it early, when it’s usually easier to treat.

“This is an issue that needs addressing urgently to save lives and prevent people dying needlessly from cancer. It is crucial that we listen to our community and work with them to find unique solutions that are both culturally and religiously sensitive.”

Professor Rattray added:

“This programme has the ultimate goal of leading to a step-change in cancer screening rates by introducing health conversations into mainstream family life. If successful, this could lead to families engaging with ongoing cancer screening throughout their lives.”

Dr Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:

“Screening can save lives. With funding from the charity, the research team in Bradford will be able to work directly with the community to test pioneering methods that have never been tried before.”

The new research is part of a wider £7.3m investment by the charity in new programmes across Yorkshire. Find out more.


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