Prostate cancer is something a lot of men refuse to talk about, let alone get tested for, but a campaign which takes the test out to them is changing all of that in Burton.
The Inspire Health – Fighting Prostate Cancer campaign, which is the brainchild of Jyoti Shah, a consultant urological surgeon for Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has already seen more than 350 men get tested, with 24 found to need further treatment.
However, Miss Shah now wants to reach out to the higher risk groups and is calling on African Caribbean men to get themselves tested as their risk of prostate cancer is twice as high. Generally, in men there is a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, for African Caribbean men the chances are slimmed to one in four.
In a bid to reach out to African Caribbean community, Miss Shah will be giving a talk at the Burton Caribbean Association about the importance of getting the test and details of her next screening programme.
The screening - a collaboration between Burton Albion, Queen's Hospital and the Rotary - has previously been held at the Pirelli Stadium to reach football fans and men who feel more comfortable at a football ground rather than at a surgery or hospital. There has also been a session at the hospital for its own staff. These screenings have proved to be a huge success.
Miss Shah said: "The prostate screening is growing in momentum but the risk is significantly higher in African Caribbean men and we want to reach out to them.
"Prostate cancer is the number one cancer in men and I think the campaign has been a big success as 24 men to date have been diagnosed and treated as a result. There are a number of things we need to do and that includes raising awareness. It is about picking up the men that need to be picked up to get them treated.
"We recognise that men don’t come to us so we are now going out to them so they get the medical screening.
"So far we have seen loads of men support the campaign with more than 300 at the Pirelli Stadium and we have now done a staff screening at the hospital last month and saw more than 55 men. We really want to reach out now to the African Caribbean community as they are at much higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and at a younger age.
"Generally there is a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer but in African Caribbean men it is one in four so it is significantly higher. It is likely to be more aggressive and start younger than in others.
"We now want to work to target the high-risk population through a talk at the Burton Caribbean Association. The association is working with us to promote this. We find that a lot of the time men don't want to come to us and may not like football which is why we are not reaching them.
"There is a massive significant difference in that community. Coming from an Asian family I understand that what we are talking about is uncomfortable for them so we are trying to make it comfortable and not so intimidating as being in hospital.
"African Caribbean men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than other men so anyone who is 45 or older and from the African Caribbean community I would ask to come along to find out more about prostate cancer and for the screening.
"It is not costing anything so why not come to get a free check."
The screening talk will be held in the training room upstairs at the Burton Caribbean Association, in Uxbridge Street, from 7pm on Thursday, August 24. Miss Shah will be giving the talk and will be there to speak to people afterwards and answer any questions.