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Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Community leaders and medical experts have played a major role in the launch of a national report that aims to tackle prostate cancer in black men.
The report, Hear Me Now, One Year On, shares the key lessons from a meeting hosted by community leaders in Newham. The Hear Me Now programme was created following the launch of the Hear Me Now report in Parliament in February last year.
This meeting, which brought together local councillors, public health commissioners, prostate cancer experts and patients, discussed how to tackle the burden of prostate cancer in black men and developed a local action plan. Among those who attended was consultant urologist Frank Chinegwundoh MBE who set up an award winning walk-in clinic based at the Newham African Resource Centre in Barking Road.
Rose Thompson, Director of BME Cancer Communities and author of both Hear Me Now reports, said: “The size and support of this launch highlights the power and importance of community organisations coming together, leading community engagement and influencing policy. We need a concerted partnership approach and commitment to encourage early diagnosis initiatives, awareness raising and access to health services, along with improved research, evidence and data on disadvantaged groups.”
Given the increased risk, higher mortality rates and earlier onset of prostate cancer in black AfricanCaribbean and black African men, community leaders from Newham are calling for politicians 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. They recommend 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.
According to national statistics, black men in England are more likely to have prostate cancer at a younger age and their risk of dying from prostate cancer is double compared to white men. Prostate cancer accounts for 42 pc of cancers diagnosed in black men.