Black icons raise prostate cancer risk awareness

Over half of GPs (51%) aren’t aware of the increased risk of prostate cancer faced by black men. Even in areas with higher black populations a third are still not aware of the raised risk. One in four black men will get prostate cancer compared to one in eight white men.

According to Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK), which conducted the survey, the lack of awareness among GPs could result in black men across the country missing out on vital conversations which could save their lives.

The national survey of over 400 GPs also found that GPs were more likely to discuss prostate cancer with men with a family history of the disease than black men, despite  the two factors being of equally high risk.

A second survey revealed that 86% of black men are unaware of their higher than average risk of prostate cancer.

Tony Wong, who heads up PCUK’s Men at Risk programme says: ‘GPs in the UK today face growing pressure to start conversations with patients regarding an ever-growing list of medical conditions and as a result conversations about prostate cancer risk are all too often slipping through the net.

‘For this reason it’s so important that black men in particular take the first step to find out about their risk of prostate cancer and proactively speak to their GP about whether they should have a PSA blood test.’

The survey was published as PCUK launches the latest phase of its Stronger Knowing More campaign to inspire black men to face their risk of prostate cancer head on.

Black British icons including ex-England cricketer, Gladstone Small, Eastenders star, Rudolph Walker, Full Monty actor, Paul Barber and British jazz musician, Courtney Pine, have joined existing campaign ambassadors, Linford Christie and Benjamin Zephaniah to lead the campaign.

As part of its strategy to improve awareness amongst all health professionals PCUK offers a range of free education programmes for GPs. These provide information, training and guidance to help GPs support their patients, including face-to-face master classes on PSA testing and a specific e-learning module about men at risk.

For more information on the awareness campaign, click here

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