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  1. ITV Report

Prostate cancer campaign urges black men to know the risks

The Stronger Knowing More campaign hopes the initiative will encourage black men to talk to each other about the disease. Credit: Dennis Morris/Prostate Cancer UK/PA

Boxer David Haye, Olympian Linford Christie, Labour MP Chuka Umunna and poet Benjamin Zephaniah have joined forces to urge black men to talk about prostate cancer, with them twice at risk of the disease compared to white men.

One in four black men in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and one in 12 will die from the disease, Prostate Cancer UK said.

Yet a survey of 212 black men found 86% were oblivious to the increased danger, prompting the Stronger Knowing More campaign.

1 in 4
The number of black men in the UK who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
1 in 12
The percentage of black men in the UK who die of prostate cancer.
86%
The percentage of 212 surveyed black men unaware of the increased danger of prostate cancer.

Billboards of the influential black figures, who were photographed in places "where they feel strong", will be unveiled across London and the West Midlands.

Zephaniah said he had suffered losses close to him to the disease.

In my community prostate cancer has always been a bit hush hush, because of how it affects our private areas - no one really talks about it.

Instead of 'prostate cancer' it is often referred to as 'water problems'.

But over the last few years, I've started to lose friends to the disease and I've found out about other friends who were affected by it.

– Benjamin Zephaniah

What are the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer?

According to Prostate Cancer UK, the common symptoms of an enlarged prostate are:

  • a weak urine flow
  • needing to urinate more often, especially at night
  • a feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly
  • difficulty starting to urinate
  • dribbling urine
  • needing to rush to the toilet - or leaking urine before you get there
  • blood in your urine

Men are urged to visit their GP if they suffer from any of the above.

The symptoms can be caused by other medical problems, lifestyle factors or certain medicines and may be unrelated to the prostate.

Read Prostate Cancer UK's guide to diagnosis and treatment for more information.