Hear Me Now – Black British Men Are at Greater Risk of Prostate Cancer

January 13, 2024
2 mins read

By Newsdesk
Thursday,  March 14, 2013.
Britons of African descent are 30% more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men, a new report has found.
The report Hear me now: the uncomfortable reality of prostate cancer in black African-Caribbean men was authored by Rose Thompson, Director of Nottingham-based BME Cancer Communities. The report looked at experiences of black men with prostate cancer, as well as compared outcomes with men from other ethnic groups in England.
Black men have three times greater risk of developing prostate cancer and are more likely to get prostate cancer at a younger age, in their 40s and 50s, compared to white men.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK and it is the second‐most common cause of death from cancer in UK men after lung cancer. One-year survival from prostate cancer in England for the general population is currently 93 out of every 100 men diagnosed.
Hear me now uncovered that some health professionals, including GPs involved in the cancer care pathway are not aware of the increased risk of prostate cancer in black men, leading to delayed diagnosis for men with prostate cancer. Cynthia Dwyer who lost her husband Hugh to prostate cancer shared her experience at the report launch. She said it isn’t only the community; GPs and other healthcare professionals need to be more aware of prostate cancer in black men.
Local authorities with high black populations, are also failing to prioritise prostate cancer in black men. The report recommends that local authorities, who from April 2013 will be responsible for public health, must work with and support local community groups to promote awareness of prostate cancer in black men.
At a national level, further funding for research is needed to better understand the experience and outcomes of black men with prostate cancer in England, along with cultural sensitivities when treating black men. BME Cancer Communities are also calling for a national lead on cancer and ethnicity to continue the work of the National Cancer Action Team (NCAT) programme tackling cancer inequalities.
The report was launched at a reception in Parliament hosted by David Lammy,  MP for Tottenham. The event was also attended by Dianne Abbott MP, Labour Shadow Public Health Minister and John Barron MP, Chair of the All Party Group on Cancer.
Author of the report, Rose Thompson said “Prostate cancer in black men is a stark and unacceptable inequality. Action has to be taken at a national and local level to ensure prostate cancer in black men is a health priority.”
Elijah Israel, a professional musician and poet, has written a song about his experiences of prostate cancer called ‘Tree Cups of Crystal Clear Waata!’, which is he using to raise funds for black and minority ethnic prostate cancer support. The song and the Hear me now report are available to download on the BME Cancer Communities website http://bmecancer.com/

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