Black men twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer - what are the symptoms?

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Prostate cancer can affect all men but black men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease.

In reality that means for every four black men one is told they have the condition, compared to one in every eight.

The sobering statistic has prompted a new campaign urging all men aged over 45 in the South to speak to their doctor and to get a test.

With the support of Prostate Cancer UK is being run by Lou Taylor who is director of Black History Month South.

"The symptoms that come with the early onset of early prostate cancer are the things that have been used in comedy for years and so you tend to ignore it.

Lou Taylor from Black History Month South is hoping to raise awarerness Credit: ITV Meridian

"You get to 45 or 50 you're running to the toilet in the middle of the night, it's part of a comedic troupe, because of that we find ourselves in a situation where we don't really pay attention to it because you think it happens to everybody.

"Actually it can be one of the early signs to prostate cancer."

The prostate is a walnut sized gland which sits below the bladder.

Prostate cancer

Am I more at risk?

Factors that might put you more at risk:

  • you are aged 50 or over

  • your father or brother has had prostate cancer

  • you are black.

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Possible symptoms

Prostate cancer usually causes symptoms when the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the tube where urine passes through out of the body.

The NHS say these symptoms don't always mean you have prostate cancer but are worth getting checked out.

  • needing to pee more frequently, often during the night

  • needing to rush to the toilet

  • difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)

  • straining or taking a long time while peeing

  • weak flow

  • feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully

  • blood in urineblood in semen

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Click here to check your risk in 30 seconds

Meg Burgess, a specialist nurse at Prostate Cancer UK, said,

"We don't know why black men are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease, there's a lot of research to get an understanding why, it could be genetics but we're not entirely sure.

"One of our concerns has been that over the course of the pandemic it has been more difficult to see the GP but men have often stayed away from the GP not wanting to have conversation they feel are not necessary.

"We know referral rates have dropped and diagnosis of prostate cancer has dropped and that's likely to be that there are missing men who do need to have this conversation with their GP and have testing."

Lou Taylor added, "In the day and age we are in now, we're all having boosters and vaccines. It's a small blood test it takes about 20 seconds to take your blood."