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Summit called to address triple high risk of prostate cancer

AWARENESS DRIVE: Footballers sport Prostate Cancer UK training tops (PA)

PROSTATE CANCER’S disproportionately high prevalence in the black community is a problem a charity summit is aiming to solve.

Organised by charity Prostate Cancer UK, the Partnering for Progress event will bring leading authorities and figures together on June 24 at the Oval cricket ground, south London.

Summit organisers want to establish a new taskforce to influence the national health agenda and raise more awareness about prostate cancer, which is 300 per cent more likely to develop among men of African and Caribbean heritage.

Scientists have still not been able to conclusively prove what precise genetic factors cause such a disproportionately elevated risk.

The charity’s chief executive Owen Sharp said greater investment and urgency are required to tackle the imbalance.

“Due to decades of underfunding and the failure of successive governments to prioritise work on prostate cancer, far too little is known about why our country’s African and African Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than their white counterparts”, he said.

SUPPORTER: Mark Bright (PA)

“This is unacceptable neglect and cannot continue unchallenged.

“Urgent action is required and that’s why Prostate Cancer UK is bringing together the key players who can help set priorities to shape better future care,” Sharp added.

The charity said prostate cancer kills 10,000 men a year in Britain.

Ex-Crystal Palace footballer, Mark Bright, who now works as a sports pundit, has thrown his weight behind the drive for awareness, and he will be welcoming guests to next week’s summit.

“I started supporting Prostate Cancer UK several years ago after seeing the statistics about the risk for African Caribbean men,” Bright said.

“I was absolutely shocked. And in the time I've been working with the charity the statistics for all men have got worse.

“Now I’ve learned about the risks I think it’s my duty to spread the word. Without talking, too many men remain in ignorance, and with this disease, ignorance kills,” he added.

The summit begins at the Oval at 12pm on June 24

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