A leading expert in cancer is calling for more to be done to find out why black men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at a higher rate than their white and Asian counterparts. Professor Francis Chinegwundoh MBE, who works at Newham and The Royal London Hospitals, recently visited Nigeria to champion the need for more research to find out why one in four black men get prostate cancer – and why one in 12 black men die as a result.
In October 2016, the professor spoke at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and at the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer conference in Abuja about the need for Africans to become more cancer aware.
Professor Chinegwundoh said: “Why are black men diagnosed and why do they die from prostate cancer at a higher rate than white men? This urgent and perplexing question is one that I have wrestled with for the majority of my career.
“An important step that can be taken is for the black African and Caribbean community in the UK and further afield to become more cancer aware. We need more black boys and men to understand the dangers from a young age.
“Although a tremendous amount of work is being done to better understand all cancers and we know that age, diet and family history are factors – more needs to be done to find out why, in this instance, race seems to play a role. It is probable that genetic factors are at play.”
In the United Kingdom, more men get prostate cancer than any other cancer type. According to the charity Cancer Black Care, about one in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives – but for black men the risk rises to one in four.
Professor Chinegwundoh was shadowed on his African visit by the BBC who aired a report on 15 November 2016 to raise awareness of prostate cancer and how it disproportionately affects black men.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Note to editors
Professor Francis Chinegwundoh MBE is a consultant Urological Surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust. He was awarded an MBE in 2013 for his services to the NHS.
Barts Health NHS Trust
With a turnover of £1.4 billion and a workforce of around 16,000, Barts Health is the largest NHS trust in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. The Trust’s five hospitals – St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham University Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End – deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of East London and beyond.