A few weeks ago I turned 57, placing me firmly in two risk categories for prostate cancer.
I’ve recently starting working with Prostate Cancer UK and I’ve come to learn that as a black man over 50, my risk of the disease is double that of a white man the same age. One in four black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime compared one in eight white men.
But despite the shocking odds, I find it more concerning that just saying the word ‘prostate’ within many black communities remains such a massive taboo subject. The disease is simply not spoken about, and if it is, it’s in a ‘hush hush, don’t tell anyone’ type of way. How can it be that something that affects so many black fathers, uncles, sons, and friends is continually swept under the carpet and ignored?
My physical and mental health has always been important to me. When I was in the prime of my career, it was the most important thing. However, as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realise that no matter how well I eat, or how fit I am, I am not indestructible – nobody is. But there are defence measures I can take and arming myself with knowledge is by far the most important.
That’s why I’m supporting Prostate Cancer UK’s Stronger Knowing More campaign and I’m urging all your black readers to do the same. Understand your risk of prostate cancer and act on it. This challenge is a marathon, not a sprint and if we’re going to beat it, the whole black community needs to start breaking down the taboos and start talking.
On behalf of Prostate Cancer UK