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  1. ITV Report

Men need to be more like women and get wise on cancer

British actor Neil Stuke Photo: Sledgehammer Films/Prostate Cancer UK

Actor Neil Stuke, who stars alongside Ray Winstone and Tamzin Outhwaite in a new film about prostate cancer, writes about the disease.

My character from the BBC series Silk, Billy Lamb, is diagnosed with prostate cancer at the end of the second series. Prostate Cancer UK contacted me soon after to ask whether I would get involved.

I talk about prostate cancer on the Wright Stuff. I always wear my badge and go to charity events. I feel very honoured to be able to help these people in any way I can.

Getting people involved in making the film was one of the easiest parts. In truth, once we had Ray Winstone on board, who has friends diagnosed with prostate cancer, the others couldn't wait to come on board.

A lot of my friends' fathers have died from it, or are being treated for it. But the important thing to get across is that people don't have to die of this - they can often be successfully treated if the disease is caught early.

Watch the trailer for Father's Day below:

Men are not like women, who are incredibly committed to beating cancer. We are so far behind. Yet one man dies of prostate cancer every hour.

There isn't a woman I know who isn't either getting tested or a cancer survivor. All men need to make themselves more aware of the risks.

Neil Stuke in Father's Day Credit: Sledgehammer Films/Prostate Cancer UK

We are trying to target the sort of men who go to footie matches. 'Real men' who are rather famously unconcerned about health issues. These are the sort of men we need to tap into. African Caribbean men are three times more susceptible to prostate cancer.

They need to realise that it is ok to talk about prostate cancer - there is no stigma about it. And for those with partners or children - you owe them a responsibility to take care of yourself.

Neil Stuke and Tamzin Outhwaite in Father's Day Credit: Sledgehammer Films/Prostate Cancer UK

Father's Day gets the message across without being too hard-hitting. It is much more of an emotional piece - quite sad, but fairly uplifting at the end.

It starts in a darkened church hall where it looks like a group of men are meeting to discuss a heist, but the plot reveals an unexpected twist.

I hope the film will get men in their droves to get off their arses and get tested.

Neil Stuke is an actor. His views do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News.

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