Specialist Nurse, Prostate Cancer UK
Around 1 in 4 Black men will get prostate cancer, and shockingly, they’re twice as likely to get the disease compared with other men.
A man with Black African or Black Caribbean heritage is also at risk of prostate cancer from an earlier age than the rest of the population. We don’t yet know all the reasons behind these stark facts, but we do know that if every Black man is aware of his higher risk — and learns what he can do about it right now — more precious lives will be saved.
What you need to know about prostate cancer
With other cancers, we often hear talk of the symptoms to look out for. However, prostate cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages when it’s still curable, so you might feel completely well but still have the disease.
When symptoms do appear, it usually means that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate and, sadly, has become harder to cure. That’s why it’s so important to know your risk and to get checked out by a doctor or nurse, regardless of how you feel.
A Black man is at higher risk from the age of 45,
especially if he has a family history of the disease.
Regular PSA tests from age 45
A Black man is at higher risk from the age of 45, especially if he has a family history of the disease.
If this applies to you, we strongly recommend that you talk to your GP as soon as possible about your risk and ask about getting a regular PSA blood test, which is a simple test that can help to diagnose prostate cancer.
Cutting-edge prostate cancer research
To help us understand why Black men are at higher risk, we’re funding crucial research. The PROFILE study aims to discover why some men, including Black men, are genetically more likely to get prostate cancer than others. Understanding this could lead to more effective tests that identify those men with a higher risk based on their genes, so more of them can get early, lifesaving diagnoses.
We’re also actively working with our Black communities across the UK to raise risk awareness and to break down any barriers that they might face when opening up about their health and talking to a GP. With a quarter of Black men likely to get prostate cancer, getting tested and diagnosed early is critical to being successfully treated and surviving the disease.