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GPs unaware of heightened prostate cancer risk

06 September 2017 08:18

More than 400 GPs took part in the research

More than 400 GPs took part in the research

Around 1 in 2 GPs do not know that black men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, research has suggested.

Men of African descent are twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease as white men. But 51% of doctors asked by Prostate Cancer UK were not aware of this heightened risk.

Slipping through the net

1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. But c ampaigners say conversations about the condition are "slipping through the net".

Some 402 GPs took part in the research into prostate cancer, which kills 11,000 men every year in the UK.

But this lack of awareness spread beyond solely the doctors. Many black men themselves were also not aware of the increased risk they faced. Some 86% of 212 black men questioned said they did not know of their increased vulnerability to prostate cancer.

Men who have had any type of cancer can arrange specialist medical travel insurance should they need to travel overseas.

Take the first step

Tony Wong, who heads Prostate Cancer UK's Men at Risk programme said: "GPs in the UK today face growing pressure to start conversations with patients regarding an ever-growing list of medical conditions and as a result conversations about prostate cancer risk are all too often slipping through the net.

"For this reason it's so important that black men in particular take the first step to find out about their risk of prostate cancer and proactively speak to their GP about whether they should have a PSA blood test.

"A black man faces the same risk of prostate cancer as a man who has a family history of the disease but awareness of the two risk factors amongst GPs is drastically different. Whether you're a black man over 45, a GP, or a relative of a man at risk, we can all play our part by familiarising ourselves with the facts to make sure more black men are diagnosed early and treated before it's too late."