Skip to main content

Health: Prostate Cancer

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 21 November 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consideration they have given to the research findings on the risk of prostate cancer among black men in the United Kingdom, published in the journal European Urology; and what action they are taking to address the finding that black men have both a poorer knowledge of prostate cancer and are at grossly increased risk of getting the disease. [HL32]

The paper published in the journal European Urology was a result of the Prostate Cancer in Ethnic Subgroups (PROCESS) study, which was undertaken at the University of Bristol and funded by the department. This study, which cost nearly £300,000, shows that black men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to white men, but that they do not have worse outcomes. The researchers who undertook the PROCESS study are now considering follow-up studies which will help advise how best to take this issue forward, and the department is discussing with them the most appropriate funding stream for this work.

The results of the PROCESS study were discussed by the prostate cancer advisory group, chaired by Professor Mike Richards, the national cancer director, and are being taken into account as we revise the prostate cancer risk management programme, which will be relaunched in summer 2008.

With specific reference to prostate cancer treatment for black men, the National Health Service cancer action team (CAT) has appointed an associate director of patient experience. This post is being funded by the National Audit Office. Responsibilities of the post will cover equality issues for cancer, including prostate cancer, as follows:

providing leadership on black and minority-ethnic (BME) group issues within the CAT;

promoting the establishment of a forum of the key stakeholders working with BME communities and work with them to facilitate the sharing of good practice; and

working with key stakeholders and selected cancer networks to develop best-practice guidance for cancer networks (including needs of local populations, awareness raising, information and support for patients, end-of-life care and promoting the implementation of guidance).

Inequalities in cancer are also being considered as part of the development of the new cancer reform strategy, which we hope to publish by the end of the year. An equality impact assessment will also be published alongside the strategy.