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Birmingham plans to tackle prostate cancer

EXPERT: Frank Chinegwundoh

BIRMINGHAM LEADERS met to develop an action plan to tackle prostate cancer and its effects on black men.

The meeting united leading experts in prostate cancer care, patient and community groups, church groups, city council representatives and clinical commissioning groups.

They came together in Birmingham Town Hall on December 11 to develop an action plan to tackle prostate cancer in the local black African-Caribbean men.

Birmingham has one if the largest black African-Caribbean male populations in the country outside of the capital.

Statistics from a published paper on cancer survival by major ethnic groups, found that black African Caribbean men’s prostate cancer death rate was 30 per cent higher than for white men.

Men of black African ethnic heritage are also three times more at risk of contracting prostate cancer than white men in the first place.

Dr Frank Chinegwundoh and chair of Cancer Black Care said: “The importance of earlier diagnosis on improving outcome is crucial.

"It is important that black men have access testing and patient information.”

Community involvement in healthcare is a key priority in the Birmingham and the meeting was designed to support this by uniting leading experts and local decision-makers.

Delegates agreed on an engagement action plan that aimed to help sustain community involvement to improve life expectancy, and address the burden of prostate cancer in the black male African-Caribbean population.

Chaired by Desmond Jaddoo, founder and director of the Birmingham Empowerment Forum, the meeting, which forms part of the Hear Me Now programme, was designed to improve awareness and earlier diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Jaddoo said: “We are pleased to have the support of the local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups responsible for addressing health inequalities.

"Prostate cancer is a major issue gripping the black African Caribbean community and must be urgently addressed.

"We are working towards earlier screening and the need to develop a strategic approach to deal with local issues.”

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