In the UK, one in four black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, double the one in eight risk faced by all men.1 No one knows why this is but research is ongoing to solve the mystery of why black men develop prostate cancer at twice the rate of other men. 2,3
Additional risk factors that increase the chance of getting this cancer include being over 50 years of age, obese (body mass index of 30 – 39.9) and having a male relative (brother, father) who has also been diagnosed with prostate cancer. 4,5
Although nothing can be done to prevent getting prostate cancer, living a healthy life, checking if you’re at risk and getting tested is essential – because some cases of prostate cancer can be cured if treated in the early stages.6
Keeping an eye out for the symptoms
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, occurring in the prostate – a small gland the size of a walnut located in the pelvis7. Common symptoms include8:
However, in the early stages of prostate cancer there are often no symptoms, so people are unaware they have it. 8 So it is important to know if you are at higher risk and get tested. This involves a blood test to detect PSA (prostate specific antigen) which will show whether prostate cancer is present.
In the UK, every black man over 50 years of age has the right to a PSA test from their GP, even if they do not have any symptoms.9 If you are not over 50 but have concerns, have a conversation with your GP about getting a PSA test.
“Early detection plays a key role in improving survival rates” explains Professor Joe O’Sullivan, Professor of Radiation Oncology at Queen’s University, Belfast and Consultant Oncologist at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre. “Movember helps raise awareness of the risks and symptoms, which coupled with routine testing, can ensure men, especially those in higher risk groups, get their condition detected as early as possible.”
Empower yourself with knowledge
Movember is all about raising awareness of prostate cancer. At a time when people are likely to be feeling more nervous about their health, the campaign’s positive message is an important one: know the facts about prostate cancer and if you have any of the symptoms, talk to your GP or nurse. Find out more about prostate cancer here.
This feature has been organised and funded by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and written on the company’s behalf by M&F Health.
Job no CP-189833| Date of prep: November 2020
- Prostate Cancer UK. Are you at risk? Available at www.prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/are-you-at-risk. Last accessed November 2020
- The Institute of Cancer Research. Study seeks to find out why black men develop prostate cancer at twice the rate of other men. Available at www.icr.ac.uk/news-archive/study-seeks-to-find-out-why-black-men-develop-prostate-cancer-at-twice-the-rate-of-other-men. Last accessed November 2020
- Clinical Trials.Gov The PROFILE Study: Germline Genetic Profiling: Correlation With Targeted Prostate Cancer Screening and Treatment (PROFILE). Available at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT02543905. Last accessed November 2020
- NHS. Causes, Prostate Cancer. Available at www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/causes/. Last accessed November 2020
- NHS. Obesity. Available at www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/. Last accessed November 2020
- NHS. Staging of prostate cancer. Available at www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/treatment/. Last accessed November 2020
- NHS. What is the prostate? Available at www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/ Last accessed November 2020
- Prostate Cancer UK. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer? Available at www.prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-symptoms. Last accessed November 2020
- Prostate Cancer UK. Black Men and Prostate Cancer https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/are-you-at-risk/black-men-and-prostate-cancer Last accessed November 2020