One in four Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives - double the one in eight risk faced by all men in the UK. What’s more, Black men are also more likely to develop the disease earlier than men of the same age from other ethnic backgrounds.
The statistics are concerning and give rise to an essential question – why are African and African Caribbean men more likely to develop prostate cancer than other groups? The harsh truth is, nobody knows, and that’s why we are pushing to find the answers through research.
What we do know: If diagnosed early enough, it can often be successfully treated, but according to recent research, nine in ten Black men are unaware of their increased risk. Couple this with the fact that many men don’t experience any symptoms and it can become incredibly difficult to detect prostate cancer at an early stage.
October is Black History Month so it's a good time for us to remind you of four key facts about prostate cancer that every Black man should all be armed with:
1 in 4 Black men will get prostate cancer. If you’re over 50 or have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer you are also at increased risk. Awareness is key - telling one person about their risk could save a life.
Problems urinating, such as changes to how frequently you need to go, a weak flow, or difficulty in starting to pee could be an indication that there is something wrong with your prostate. However, in many cases prostate cancer doesn’t have any symptoms at all. Speak to your GP if you have any concerns.
If you are worried about prostate problems or think you’re at risk, you can speak to a Prostate Cancer UK Specialist Nurse for support and information on 0800 074 8383.
If you are over 50 and worried about your prostate cancer risk, you have a right to a free PSA blood test, which can be the first step to diagnosis, if you discuss it with your GP first.