Awareness week misses its target

Indira Das-Gupta

An evaluation of coverage generated by Breast Cancer Awareness Month has revealed that those most at risk from the disease were barely portrayed in the media.

The evaluation of the month, which took place in October, was commissioned by Breast Cancer Campaign. It showed that 82 per cent of the case studies featured women aged 30 to 49, and just 15 per cent were women over 50.

In reality, 80 per cent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50.

Most of the women profiled were also white and middle class, contrary to the key message of the campaign - that the disease affects women from all communities and classes.

Ondine Hassen, science media officer for Breast Cancer Campaign, said: "We tried to place older case studies, but it was a battle because a lot of women's magazines wanted younger, professional women."

Hassen added: "We will try to be more diverse with who we target this year."

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