ONE in four black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime as under a quarter know they are at a higher risk, a survey has revealed.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed male cancer in the UK, yet over three quarters of blokes are unaware of all the potential signs.
Black men are at a higher risk that other ethnicities[/caption]
Black men are at a higher risk than other ethnicities where just one eighth of males are diagnosed.
Research is currently ongoing as to why black man are more likely to get the cancer, but experts have previously said that it could be down to genetics and socioeconomic factors.
Research conducted by leading private cancer care provider GenesisCare and charity Prostate Cancer Research found those who speak about cancer with friends or family are four times as likely to recognise the symptoms (31 per cent versus eight per cent).
It also found that those who speak up are twice as likely to get a diagnosis.
Talking about your private parts is a sensitive topic and, these conversations aren’t easy – with a fifth (21 per cent) feeling too uncomfortable to talk to their family or friends about it.
The experts said that these discussions are more important than ever as the pandemic has further impacted the number of men visiting their GP, in particular, black men.
Of those who participated a third of black man were deterred from getting potential symptoms checked for fear of contracting coronavirus while visiting medical facilities.
What are the most common prostate cancer signs?
Most men with early prostate cancer won't notice any symptoms. That's because the disease tends to grow in a part of the prostate that's away from the urethra.
It’s only when the cancer is big enough to press on the tube that men tend to notice symptoms, including…
- Trouble starting to pee
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
- A slow flow when you pee
- A feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
- Dribbling after you finish peeing
- Needing to pee more, especially at night
- A sudden need to pee, sometimes leaking before getting to the loo
If prostate cancer breaks out of the gland and invades other parts of the body, it can cause other symptoms, including:
- Back, hip or pelvis pain
- Problems getting or keeping an erection
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Unexplained weight loss
These symptoms can all be caused by other health problems, but it’s still a good idea to tell your GP about any symptoms so they can find out what’s causing them and make sure you get the right treatment, if you need it.
The research of 2,000 British men contained data from 1,182 white men, 502 black men and 208 Asian.
The aim of the research is to raise awareness around discussions of the cancer between men.
Dr Philip Camilleri, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at GenesisCare, said: “The more we invest in understanding and raising awareness of this issue, the better the patient outcomes will be in the future.
“It’s not surprising to me that people aren’t aware of the symptoms of prostate cancer – we hope this will help men to identify what they are so they can seek help from a medical professional if they spot any telling signs.”
The research revealed nearly a third of black men who struggle to talk about prostate problems would be more comfortable opening up if they heard others discussing it more often.
Other things which those surveyed via OnePoll stated would help spark a conversation among black men include guidance from a medical professional on how to talk about it (38 per cent) and seeing other people talk about it more often on TV (27 per cent).
Naomi Elster at Prostate Cancer Research added that the research highlights how few people are aware that they are at a greater risk due to their ethnicity.
“This is not a problem for only the black community to solve.
“Much more research needs to be done to understand why black men are at higher risk, how they can be treated most effectively and what the real-life impacts of cancer are in that community.
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“This year, we will specifically invest in research which aims to improve the situation for black men”, she added.
Linford Christie OBE, Olympian, legendary sprinter and prostate cancer campaigner added that knowing the signs of prostate cancer could save lives.
He said: “I want to normalise conversations around prostate cancer.
“We’ve seen from the research the positive impact that these conversations can have when it comes to recognising symptoms and getting tested as soon as possible.”