One in three UK men say they know nothing about prostate cancer
A new survey released today by male cancer charity, Orchid, to coincide with Male Cancer Awareness Week (9-15 April), highlights a worrying lack of awareness amongst men of prostate cancer, its symptoms and risk factors.
Of particular concern is the lack of awareness amongst those men at potential high risk of developing prostate cancer – men aged over 50, black African and black Caribbean men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.
The survey reveals that 31.4% of UK men say that they know nothing about prostate cancer whilst 60.4% of men say they are not confident in identifying the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. More worrying, is that despite being at higher risk of developing the disease, men aged over 45 are the least knowledgeable when it comes to prostate cancer and 57% of black African and black Caribbean men were not aware that their ethnicity affected their risk of developing prostate cancer. In addition, 22.8% of men with a family history of prostate cancer were not aware that this affects their own risk of developing the disease.
“It’s not acceptable that we are seeing 40% of prostate cancer diagnoses in the late stage, and a mortality rate that is unnecessarily high. Too many men are not facing up to prostate cancer and their own individual risk and they are not seeking help and advice earlier enough” says Rebecca Porta, Orchid Chief Executive. “If we can tackle this from both sides, by getting many more men and GPs to talk about prostate cancer risk, we can help to improve outcomes in the longer term – both for patients and the health service”.
In response to the survey results, Orchid has launched a ‘F.A.C.E. up to prostate cancer’ campaign to encourage men to think about and be aware of 4 key risk factors:
Family history – having a brother or father with prostate cancer may double a man’s risk compared to men with no family history of the disease.
Age – the older a man gets the greater the risk, with prostate cancer most commonly affecting men over the age of 50.
Change in urinary habits – changes in urinary habits are not always a sign of prostate cancer but they can be a symptom.
Ethnicity – black African and black Caribbean men are at double the risk of developing prostate cancer than caucasian men and may develop the disease earlier too, most commonly affecting men from this group over 45.
Orchid is asking men who are affected by any of these risk factors to consider having a conversation with their GP about prostate cancer and urge anyone who experiences a change in urinary habits and thinks they are at risk to seek medical advice.
Further information on prostate cancer is available at www.orchid-cancer.org.uk or to speak to a specialist male cancer nurse about prostate cancer call the freephone Orchid Male Cancer Helpline on 0808 802 0010.