‘Discuss your risk’ is the message being given to black men in Liverpool who are invited to find out more about their chance of developing prostate cancer.
One in four black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime – twice the rate of other men in the population – and men whose brother or father have had the disease or their mother or sister has had breast cancer are more likely to develop it, too.
Black men over the age of 45 are being encouraged to check their risk with an online tool – www.prostatecanceruk.org/cmca-risk – and to speak to their local GP surgery to discuss their risk of prostate cancer with a clinician if they are concerned.
Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance (CMCA) has joined with Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK) to highlight the issue with a local campaign – called Discuss Your Risk – running in March, 2022, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, with events where black men can find out more information.
Please see the toolkit below to help you inform people about this campaign and for more information on the issue.
ITV Granada News broadcast a news story on the campaign, which you can watch here.
‘Discuss your risk’ is the message being given to black men in Liverpool who are invited to find out more about their risk of developing prostate cancer.
One in four black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime – twice the rate of other men in the population – and men whose brother or father has had the disease or their mother or sister has had breast cancer are more likely to develop it, too.
Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance (CMCA) joined with Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK) to highlight the issue with a local campaign running during March – Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – with events where black men can find out more information.
This toolkit is for community groups and is designed to give accurate information and advice, which they can use to educate and inform black men about their risk of developing prostate cancer and encouraging them to find out about this and to contact their GP surgery to talk to a clinician if they are concerned.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years.
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown, but certain things can increase your risk of developing the condition. The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 50 or older.
For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent. Although it affects all men, black men are 2-3 times more likely to develop this cancer than their white counterparts. The death rate is twice as high, and African and African-Caribbean men are more likely to develop prostate cancer at a younger age.
Therefore, it is essential that African and African Caribbean men, in particular, know about their increased risk of prostate cancer and when they are aged 45, or over, should discuss their risk with a clinician at their local GP surgery.
It is important to understand the meaning of prostate cancer and the role of culture in African and African-Caribbean men’s beliefs about the disease. Perceptions regarding culture, faith, masculinity and heterosexuality affects black men’s interaction with prostate cancer tests and health-related services. Black men are also less likely to act on their symptoms and visit the doctor, which means that if they have cancer it may be detected late when it can be harder to treat.
Most men – including black men – with early prostate cancer have no symptoms at all. This is why it is so important for them to know that their ethnicity puts them at higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and act on it.
Prostate cancer treatment can be very successful and cured when found and treated early – it is also easier to treat in its early stages.
For more information about prostate cancer, see:
Most men with early prostate cancer do not have symptoms, so it is vital for men to know their risk and take action early.
If prostate cancer is found earlier, it can be successfully treated. When diagnosed late, there is a risk of harm or damage that the prostate cancer can cause, with potential to shorten lives.
Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis, called the urethra.
When this happens, men may notice things like:
- Needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
- Difficulty starting to urinate
- Straining or taking a long time to finish urinating
- A weak flow when you urinate
- A feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
- A sudden need to urinate – sometimes leaking urine before you get to a toilet
- Dribbling urine after you finish urinating
Less common changes include:
- Pain when urinating
- Pain when ejaculating
These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer. If you have symptoms or you do not have symptoms but want to discuss your risk, contact your GP surgery to arrange for an appointment.
For more information about the symptoms of prostate cancer, see:
The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA). PSA is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate and by prostate cancer cells. It is normal for men to have a small amount of PSA in their blood, and the amount rises slightly as they get older and the prostate gets bigger. A raised PSA level may suggest a problem with the prostate, but not necessarily cancer.
Advantages of a PSA test
- It can help pick up prostate cancer before you have any symptoms.
- It can help pick up a fast-growing cancer at an early stage, when treatment could stop it spreading and causing problems.
- A regular PSA test could be helpful, particularly if you have an increased risk of prostate cancer, for example with family history. This could detect any unusual increase in your PSA level that might be a sign of prostate cancer.
Disadvantages of a PSA test
- Your PSA level might be raised, even if you do not have prostate cancer. Many men with a raised PSA level do not have prostate cancer.
- The PSA test can miss prostate cancer. For example, one major study showed that 1 in 7 men (15 per cent) with a normal PSA level may have prostate cancer, and 1 in 50 men (two per cent) with a normal PSA level may have a fast-growing cancer.
- If your PSA level is raised you may need an MRI scan and if that is abnormal, you may need a biopsy, which is usually performed under local anaesthetic. This can cause side effects, such as pain, infection (1 in 300 people) and mild bleeding in urine and semen.
Being diagnosed with a slow-growing prostate cancer that is unlikely to cause any problems or shorten your life may still make you worry, and may lead you to have treatment that you do not need. However, most men with low-risk, localised prostate cancer now have their cancer carefully monitored instead, and only have treatment if the cancer starts to grow.
For more information about the PSA test, see:
There are a number of resources that can help men to know their risk. Men who want find out more about their prostate cancer risk can:
- Complete the Prostate Cancer UK risk checker online to outline their risk of prostate cancer based on age, ethnicity or family history. It only takes 30 seconds. See www.prostatecanceruk.org/cmca-risk
- Speak to a Prostate Cancer UK specialist nurse, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, on 0800 074 8383. This is also available on live chat, email and social media. Visit https://prostatecanceruk.org/nurses
Men can find a local support group here: Prostate Cancer UK
In the Liverpool area, these include:
- Aintree Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group
- Clatterbridge Advanced Prostate Cancer Support Group
- Prostate Cancer Support Wirral and North Cheshire
- Royal Liverpool Merseyside Prostate Cancer Support Group
- Royal Liverpool Prostate Cancer Support Group
- The Men’s Group
- Community groups can book a talk, with experts, where your members or service users can find out more information from Prostate Cancer UK
General information on prostate cancer – a publication called ‘Find out about your prostate’ – for other communities is translated into:
A Be Prostate Aware Health Talk is being held on Thursday, March 3rd, from 11am to 3pm, at the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, 4 Princes Rd, Liverpool L8 1TH. This event has been organised for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month by CMCA, PCUK, community organisations, local GP surgeries and Central Liverpool and Picton PCNs as part of the Discuss Your Risk campaign.
The event is for black men, their friends and family, and will include advice, discussion, entertainment – including the premiere of a film dramatisation of the issue – and African-themed refreshments.
The organisations include BHA For Equality, Healthwatch Liverpool, Liverpool Black Men’s Group, Liverpool CCG, Liverpool Arabic Centre, NHS Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services, the NHS, Mary Seacole House, Black Community Wigan, Merseyside Yoruba Community Association, Merseyside Somali and Community Association and The Kingdom Lanterns Evangelical Drama Ministry UK.
These videos were created to publicise this event:
- Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool
- Levi Tafari, performance poet
- Saeed Ibrahim, Coordinator Somali Community
- Selwyn Sylvester, Prostate Cancer Survivor
Here are some messages you can use on social media to highlight the campaign and the issue. You can use the images or use your own or you can use the word with the links to the videos in the section below.
Please use these posts with the hashtags and links but you can adapt them to your specific community. Did you know that 1 in 4 black men develop prostate cancer – double the normal rate – but most black men are not aware of their risk? Most men with early prostate cancer have no symptoms so it is vital to know your risk and take action early. Check your risk with this online checker: https://www.prostatecanceruk.org/cmca-risk #DiscussYourRisk #MenWeAreWithYou
Black men over the age of 45 are being encouraged to learn about their risk of prostate cancer and discuss this with their GP surgery if they are concerned. Black men have double the chance of having prostate cancer in their lifetime than other men – and men whose brother or father have had the disease or their mother or sister has had breast cancer are more likely to develop it, too. So please use this online tool to check your risk. Find out more at: https://cmcanceralliance.nhs.uk/news/black-men-urged-discuss-their-risk-cancer #DiscussYourRisk #MenWeAreWithYou
The above images can be used with these tweets or use the link to the videos below.
1 in 4 Black men develop prostate cancer – double the normal rate – but most black men are not aware of their risk. Check your risk with this online checker
Most men with early prostate cancer have no symptoms so it is vital to know your risk and take action early. Black men are twice as likely to develop the disease. Find out more here: https://cmcanceralliance.nhs.uk/news/black-men-urged-discuss-their-risk-cancer #DiscussYourRisk #MenWeAreWithYou
Black men over the age of 45 are should learn about their risk of prostate cancer and discuss this with their GP surgery if they are concerned. So please use this online tool to check your risk. #DiscussYourRisk #MenWeAreWithYou
You may have no symptoms if you develop prostate cancer. Please listen to former patient Selwyn Sylvester, who urges black men to understand their risk of the disease and contact their GP practice if they have concerns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joem3i_-9eM #DiscussYourRisk #MenWeAreWithYou
These videos can be used to inform black men about their prostate cancer risk:
Silent Killer In Black Men, a film dramatising a how an African man learns about his risk of prostate cancer. This short film was premiered at the event on 3rd March 2022 at Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, Liverpool: https://youtu.be/TUhu54mVePE
Prostate Cancer UK has collaborated with the NHS during March to find the 14,000 men in the UK have not had treatment for prostate cancer since the beginning of the pandemic.
To support the campaign you can download posters, videos and social media graphics here: Prostate Cancer UK - Risk checker
You can order printed materials here: Prostate Cancer UK - Our Publications
CMCA created this campaign with Prostate Cancer UK, community organisations, local GP surgeries and Central Liverpool and Picton Primary Care Networks.
We would like to thank everyone, especially the organisations above, which supported us.