​Bristol Mayor visits hospital to raise awareness of increased prostate risk in Black men

Marvin Rees

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees is backing Southmead Hospital Charity’s campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer amongst men from African Caribbean backgrounds who are twice as likely to develop the disease.

Research suggests that 1 in 4 men from African Caribbean backgrounds will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime compared to men from other ethnic backgrounds - who have a 1 in 8 chance.

Today Mayor Marvin Rees visited Southmead Hospital to find out more about Southmead Hospital Charity’s Prostate Cancer Care Appeal – to raise funds to purchase two surgical robots to treat more men with prostate and other urological cancers.

Salah Al-Buheissi, lead urology consultant at Southmead Hospital, said: “We don’t know exactly why men from African Caribbean backgrounds are more likely to get prostate cancer - it might be linked to genes or to diet.

“It may also be that culturally, men from Black and Minority Ethnic communities are less likely to visit their GP when symptoms start to show.

“What we do know is that the most important factor in ensuring that men from African Caribbean backgrounds have a more level playing field when it comes to fighting the disease is by raising awareness and ensuring that Black communities know about their increased risk and visit their GP.”

As well as meeting patients and urology staff, Mayor Rees visited theatres to see live robotic surgery to remove the prostate of a patient with prostate cancer.

Mayor Rees said: “It is alarming to see these stark statistics that put that put men from African Caribbean backgrounds at the double the risk of prostate cancer and I want to urge men and women in our black communities to make sure that the men in their lives are aware of the risk and symptoms and to visit their GPs if they are concerned.

“I am so pleased to see that some of the best and most advanced robotic treatments for the disease are happening everyday right here in Bristol at Southmead Hospital.

“But it’s important that we retain these skills in Bristol which is why Southmead Hospital Charity’s Prostate Cancer Care Appeal is vital to ensuring we continue to be leading the way in fighting prostate cancer and training the next generation of surgeons.”

Southmead Hospital was one of the first centres in the UK to specialise in robotic surgery to treat prostate cancer.

Robotic surgery is more accurate, less invasive, causes less blood loss, and reduces the length of stay in hospital than traditional surgical methods. Men also have much better long term prospects for a full recovery.

Mr Al-Buheissi said: “We are really pleased to have the Mayor’s support for our Prostate Cancer Care Appeal, Southmead Hospital is one of the largest urological centres in the country, treating thousands of prostate cancer patients a year. 

“But having helped save the lives of thousands of men, our robot is aging and in need of replacement to enable our urology teams to continue to be at the forefront of cancer care.

“A second surgical robot would enable us to treat even more men as well as provide robotic surgery for other types of cancer like kidney, bladder and gynaecological.”

Find out more about supporting Southmead Hospital Charity’s Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.

Risks of prostate cancer are higher if you are aged 45 or over or your father or brother has had it.

If you’re overweight or obese, you might have a higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer that’s aggressive or advanced.

The 1 in 4 calculation of lifetime risk was compiled from data of the UK’s African and African Caribbean population in by Prostate Cancer UK in 2013.

Share this page: