A special event will be held this week to raise awareness about the risk of prostate cancer within the black community.
The event, organised by Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance (CMCA), will take place at Liverpool’s Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre on Thursday March 3.
Running from 11am until 3pm, black men, their friends and family will be able to receive advice from clinicians and specialist speakers, as well as enjoying refreshments and entertainment.
“It is very important for black men to know their risk because one in four black men are at risk of having prostate cancer in their lifetime and a lot of them don’t know and aren’t aware of this,” said Modupe Dosunmu, CMCA’s Senior Project Manager.
“So, this is why we’ve set up this event to promote the awareness to all black men, or African or Afro-Caribbean, men aged 45 and above, as well as their family and friends.”
It is not just CMCA encouraging black men to attend. Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, has also urged men from African or Afro-Caribbean communities to go along and find out more.
The event comes as part of a wider campaign from CMCA, who have teamed up with Prostate Cancer UK to highlight the issue with a local campaign called Discuss Your Risk.
The campaign will run throughout March, which also marks Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Black men over the age of 45 are being encouraged to check their risk with an online tool – www.prostatecanceruk.org/cmca-risk – and to speak to their local GP surgery if they are concerned.
African and Afro-Caribbean men are twice as likely as men from other ethnic backgrounds to develop prostate cancer. Men with a family history of the disease also have an elevated risk.
Whilst this statistic is alarming, Ms. Dosunmu highlighted the importance of early diagnosis in enabling effective treatment.
“The key point is that it is discovered on time and discovered early,” she told Merseynewlive.
“The main message we want to pass out at the event, and what Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance is saying, is that it is a treatable cancer and what is important is that we discover it on time so that people can receive treatment on time.”
Ms. Dosunmu also noted the crucial need to break the taboo around discussing cancer within African communities.
She said: “For the first time in history we’ve been able to pull together a short African film to try to portray the culture of Africa.
“In Africa, we face not wanting to talk about cancer, we see it as stigma, a taboo but as we are growing and as things are changing, this needs to change. We need to talk about it more, we need to pass on useful information.”
The short film – ‘Silent Risk in Black Men’- will premiere at Thursday’s event.
Louise Connor, CMCA’s Project and Administration Assistant, said: “People are able to come and speak to other black men who have survived prostate cancer.
“I feel like it’s really important to speak to people who’ve had those experiences and not had any symptoms and learn what that’s been like for them and what they can do about it.
Watch a clip of Merseynewslive’s interview with the team from Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance below:
Featured image: Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance