PRESS RELEASE: BME Cancer Voice Launch

Project6_Layout 1BME Cancer Voice is being re-launched by BHI an organisation with charitable status who work nationally, at the House of Commons on 25th February 2014.

The Launch will be hosted by Fabian Hamilton MP and supported by Baroness Howells of St Davids OBE.


BME Cancer Voice was developed and supported by National Cancer Action Team which was part of the NHS national cancer programme until March 2013 when this was abolished as part of the NHS reforms. NHS national cancer surveys have shown consistently since 2000 that patients from BME groups have identified a poorer experience of cancer services than white patients. BME Cancer Voice can play a crucial role in identifying areas of improvements.


BME Cancer Voice Research in 2012 and revisited in 2013 within 500 members evidences.

  • 58% of patients who required a prosthesis were not offered one that was appropriate to their skin tone
  • In 2 out of 5 cases where an interpreter was required, this service was not offered by the NHS
  • A quarter of patients felt uninformed regarding advice or support specific to their culture/religious beliefs/spiritual needs
  • Patients from a Chinese ethnic group were the least informed

There is clearly a need to develop cultural competency within the NHS to support both BME Cancer Patients and NHS staff. Cancer affects 1 in 3 people in the UK, however certain cancers including Prostate Cancer, Cervical and Stomach Cancer have higher incidence rates in some ethnic minorities

  • Prostate Cancer accounts of 22% of cancer deaths in black men and 8% in all deaths
  • Incidence rates of Cervical Cancer for Southeast Asian females over 65 are twice as high as for white females of the same age
  • Breast Cancer mortality rates for Black and Southeast Asian women is higher than those for white women.

BME Cancer Voice is committed to working with partners to ensure the gap of cancer patient inequalities is narrowed.


Heather Nelson JP
National Director – BME Cancer Voice 0113 307 0300/07462640217


Paula Lloyd knight
President – BME Cancer Voice 07876857279

BME Cancer Voice Ambassadors

Anjula Mutanda
TV Psychotherapist/Author

Kevin Maxwell
Writer and Equality Campaigner