Last week the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) and Cultural Media Centre hosted a Prostrate Cancer Awareness discussion in collaboration with four survivors and a Consultant Surgeon, as part of the Health Watch Series community initiative.
Forum guests and viewers heard from each of the survivors – Errol, Chris, Michael, and Sam, about their experience of being diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer, how it impacted them physically and emotionally, their treatment, and being in remission. Viewers had the opportunity to ask questions as well as gaining valuable information and insight from Dr Rajesh Kavia, Consultant Urological Surgeon BSc(Hons), MB BS(Distinction), FRCS(Urol), FRCS, who has extensive knowledge of the disease.
Dr Kavia, was on hand throughout the evening and provided information to raise awareness of prostrate cancer including diagnosis and treatment. He had this important message for people;
‘A lot of patients with prostate cancer, will not have any symptoms at all, so if you are in your 40’s or 50’s get your GP to do a PSA test. There is no reason not to do a test.’
Guests including Councillor Ketan Sheth – Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, and Dave Regis, Coach Programme Manager for the Premier League and Trustee of JRF, heard not only about the risks linked to prostrate cancer but also about the importance of having people around you to support you through the process if you are diagnosed.
Sam, a photographer who has worked closely with the Foundation was diagnosed in 2020 and he had this simple message. ‘It is highly important that you arrange an appointment with your GP and have a blood test taken. A year to the day I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I am here and all is well, so get yourself tested.’
Errol Mckellar, who founded the Errol Mckellar Foundation https://theerrolmckellarfoundation.com/ to raise awareness of the disease after he was diagnosed in 2010, emphasised the importance of talking about it, “to stop men from dying through ignorance and fear”. He said; ‘We all have to talk about it. This forum and people around us is so big for us. The more talking we do around this, the better we will become.’
Prostrate Cancer is the most common cancer in men, but most men with early prostrate cancer don’t have symptoms. It’s vital to understand the risks – for example, black men are twice as likely to get prostrate cancer than other men, and family history is another risk factor. To check your risk, and for more information on signs and symptoms, and getting support, go to https://prostatecanceruk.org/
The forum discussion can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/503041475
JRF will be hosting more of these Health Watch Forums in the future. Part 2 – ‘Talking Diabetes’ will be held on Tuesday 26th January.
For more information on upcoming events and news follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, @jasonrobertsFDN.