by Nick Wright
No matter how many times we say it, it is always a shocking fact that 1 in 4 Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime – double the risk faced by all men in the UK (1 in 8). What’s more, 92 per cent of Black men have no idea about the increased risk they face.
We know that Black men, like most men, don’t really like talking about their health but it’s vital that they do. So to start the conversations we’re reaching out through a popular pastime: dominoes. We have produced our very own dominoes pack, which comes with information about prostate cancer, to help Black men get together and talk about health while doing something they love.
Tony Wong, African and African Caribbean Project Manager at Prostate Cancer UK said: “Dominoes has been played by men across the globe for centuries and it’s a particularly popular game among the African Caribbean community.”
“To be a successful player you not only need to master the art of bluffing, you need to be a step ahead of your partner at all times. Being one jump ahead is also so important when it comes to your health. 1 in 4 Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Awareness of his risk is therefore a man’s best defence against the disease."
Former England cricketer, Gladstone Small is a passionate dominoes player and a leading supporter of Prostate Cancer UK.
He said: “Dominoes made up a significant part of my childhood back in Barbados. The game is one of the best past times – chilling (or liming as we call it there) on a comfortable chair, we used to lose hours to the tiles. One of my earliest memories is watching my granddad play with his friends in the sunshine and I can remember making my first dominoes set out of wood.
“Like many other Black guys, I’ve got dominoes in my blood and this Men United initiative from Prostate Cancer UK is a genius way to engage with a community which desperately needs to acknowledge its risk of prostate cancer and act upon it. I am proud to be supporting it. Men United is all about friends getting together to do something, big or small, to defeat prostate cancer and this is spot on.”
We launched the pack at the first Men United dominoes tournament in Nottingham in March, held in partnership with a local cancer support group, Friends and Bredrins (FAB). Over 100 people took part and after some top-notch games, local men, Brit Williams and Winston Wheeler were crowned dominoes kings, beating five teams to the top spot.
Tony Wong said: “Through dominoes games like the one held in Nottingham, we want more men to wise up to their risk and speak to their doctors about it - it could save their lives”.