National report launched to tackle prostate cancer among African-Caribbean men

Steve McCabe MP met with NHS experts in prostate cancer care, and Birmingham community campaigners at the launch of the ‘Hear Me Now, One Year On: Communities call to action to address the burden of prostate cancer in black African-Caribbean and black African men report’.

Steve was very surprised to learn that mortality rates are much higher amongst African-Caribbean men. Given the increased risk, higher mortality rates and earlier onset of prostate cancer in black African-Caribbean and black African men, community leaders from Birmingham are calling for health bodies to update the prostate cancer screening guidance used by healthcare professionals so that it has specific regard for black African-Caribbean and black African men. The report recommends that every GP should hold a register of black African-Caribbean and black African men aged over 45, invite them to have a prostate cancer test and record all the test results for this ethnic group.

The report also shares the key learning’s about how to tackle the burden of prostate cancer in black men and develop a local action plan. Experts in the field made a number of nationally focussed recommendations which include:

·The prostate cancer screening guidance should be specifically tailored for black men; outline their increased risk of prostate cancer and address some of the cultural barriers to testing and accessing care

·The prostate cancer screening guidance should raise healthcare professionals’ awareness of the importance of identifying prostate cancer early, and encourage the use of diagnostics tests for men with an increased risk of prostate cancer

·The National Prostate Cancer Audit should include the comparison of ethnic groups

·Public Health England to pilot an informed choice prostate cancer test as part of the NHS Health Check

·Local authorities with significant black African-Caribbean and black African populations should ensure prostate cancer is recognised as a priority in Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Health and Wellbeing Strategies.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I was shocked to learn just how many African-Caribbean men are prone to prostate cancer and how little awareness there is of this. I agree with the recommendations made in the report and definitely think that there needs to be more awareness of this amongst public health bodies and that early diagnosis initiatives should be implemented to prevent prostate cancer amongst African-Caribbean men.”

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive, Public Health England said:

“We welcome the ‘Hear Me Now, One Year On’ report, which shares key learnings following engagement to improve awareness and diagnosis levels of prostate cancer in the male black African-Caribbean and black African population. It is important that men, from all communities, are aware of symptoms that are associated with prostate cancer.”

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