• 8Aug

    Tailored information central to tackling high rates of prostate cancer in black men

    Patrick Vernon has written a blog for the Guardian on the disparity between black men and the rest of the population, showing they are more likely to get cancer at a younger age.

    His blog refers to the ‘Hear Me Now – 1 year on’ report launched in April this year. The report follows a series of round table meetings that highlighted and aimed to address issues of lack of awareness and late diagnosis of prostate cancer  in the male black African-Caribbean and black African population.

    The meetings identified that there is a need to support health professionals, including GPs and other front line workers, with an awareness raising programme about prostate cancer and its increased risk in black men.

    Interviews carried out for the report emphasise the need for culturally appropriate information that dispels common myths on prostate cancer. Information about testing, including how tests work, is highlighted as being key. The report also identifies anecdotal concerns about cuts to NHS language services, and recognises that it may be necessary for some patients to have cancer related terms interpreted – which is particularly important in secondary care, where full information about treatment options is essential.

    The report recommends that Patient Information Sheets, specifically tailored to black African-Caribbean and black African men, should be developed by the Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP). These leaflets should be designed to be distributed by community groups as well as primary care staff, and that GPs should proactively send these leaflets out men over 45 from these communities.

    It also identifies increased community engagement and investment by public health teams and local authorities in raising awareness of prostate cancer through working with local community groups.

    The report can be read here.