Cancer is a word I won’t run from

Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie wants to help those at risk

How much do you know about prostate cancer?

Before getting involved with this campaign, I honestly knew nothing at all about prostate cancer, and I certainly didn’t know about the higher risk for black men – we’re up against it for sure.

Why are you supporting our campaign?

I was pretty shocked when I found out that one in four of us black men get prostate cancer in comparison to one in eight of everyone else. That’s a shocking stat, so I think we need to do something about that to change it.

Why do you think there’s such low awareness of prostate cancer amongst black men?

The problem is with us black men is that we don’t want to discuss things like prostate cancer, it’s still a taboo subject in our community. We’ve got to face up to it. This disease is affecting us, and the people around us, so we have to now try and be self-aware of what’s going on, what our risk is and how we can treat it and eliminate it.

The problem is with us black men is that we don’t want to discuss things like prostate cancer, it’s still a taboo subject in our community.

If we’re more open about this topic and talk about it, we can help improve the outlook for black men.

Where do you draw your strength from?

As an elite athlete, you’ve got to be physically and mentally strong. I also think my strength is inherited. My father is a strong character, as was my grandmother. My mum ran the whole family so she had to be stronger than everyone else. Growing up around them definitely had an impact on my outlook and mentality.

What advice would you give to other black men?

Well, now I know what I know, it’s massively important to go and see your GP and get some advice. Or give Prostate Cancer UK a call – they are there to help us. Get checked, be informed and make yourself prepared.

For me personally, I’m going to discuss it a lot more, with my friends, my family and anyone else who will listen! Because, together, once we bring it out in the open we can do something about it. My friends can discuss it with their friends and family, and so on. Hopefully, together we can make it a lot harder for men to die from the disease.

(Photograph of Linford Christie © Dennis Morris assisted by Bolade Banjo)


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Don’t hide from cancer. Confront your risk

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"I know that, having spoken to medical practitioners and stakeholders in my own community, awareness is a real problem. If you help to raise awareness, you can help to save lives and nothing is more precious than life."

Read Chuka's story