Newham CCG urged to prioritise prostate cancer

Professor Frank Chinegwundoh says prostate cancer is an urgent priority for Newham (Pic by Hear Me N

Professor Frank Chinegwundoh says prostate cancer is an urgent priority for Newham (Pic by Hear Me Now) - Credit: Archant

Campaigners have criticised the borough’s healthcare strategy for not prioritising prostate cancer.

The disease, which is twice as likely to strike and kill black men as non-black, is not included in the NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Joint Strategic Needs Assessment – even though 18 per cent of men in the borough are black.

Last week Public Health England revealed 138 black men in Newham are living with prostate cancer. The disease accounts for 24pc of cancer deaths in black men in the borough.

Rose Thompson, director at BME Cancer Communities, said: “In an area with such a high-risk population, it is surprising that prostate cancer care is not prioritised.

“It clearly should be if we are to offer the local community the level of care that they so gravely need and deserve.”

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Professor Frank Chinegwundoh from cancer awareness group Hear Me Now wants action to ensure early diagnosis in a borough where 37pc of the black men suffering were diagnosed in the disease’s later stages.

“There is much to be done to reduce the numbers of black men presenting with advanced prostate cancer,” he said.

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“Few black men realise that they are at increased risk and should therefore get prostate checks from the age of 45.”

And Prostate Cancer UK project manager Tony Wong said the data showed a local problem.

“This new data reveals for the first time the true extent of the problem at a local level,” he said. “Too many black men remain unaware of the stark danger they face.”

One in four black men face being diagnosed with prostate cancer, with symptoms including problems urinating, erectile dysfunction, weakness or numbness in the legs, urinating more often, loss of bladder and bowel control and blood in the urine.

The effectiveness of screening is disputed, as the 13-year prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer screening trial showed no mortality benefit in annual screening compared with “opportunistic screening”.

Dr Zuhair Zarifa, chairman of NHS Newham CCG, urged people who spot symptoms to contact their GP immediately.

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