Landmark prostate cancer awareness event to be held in Erdington

Benjamins Brothers news

A landmark prostate cancer awareness event will be held at St Barnabas Church Centre in Erdington on Wednesday 3 February, hosted by staff and volunteers from John Taylor Hospice.

The event, which will run 12pm – 4pm, is part of a series of community-led information and engagement services provided by the hospice urging men to “get themselves checked out”.

Project lead Roger Wheelwright, prostate cancer nurse specialist at the hospice, explained why the tests are so important.

“More than 3,700 men in the West Midlands are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, and one in four die from the disease,” he said.

“We know that early detection means that steps can be taken to alleviate symptoms and prolong life, so we’re offering a support service that makes it easier for our men to get themselves checked out.

“Events like the one we’re hosting on Wednesday are a great way to find out more about prostate cancer and how to go about getting tested.”

Through the prostate cancer awareness project, known as Benjamin’s Brothers, Roger aims to improve the lives and health chances of men from some of the worst-affected communities.

“Men of African Caribbean heritage are twice as likely to develop the disease,” he said. “It’s time we removed some of the barriers, embarrassment and stigma surrounding prostate problems and gave much-needed support to Birmingham’s fathers, husbands, uncles and brothers.

“There is no reason for our men to die of prostate cancer and that’s a message that we are determined to spread across the city.”

Together with community organisations, GP practices and health care providers, John Taylor Hospice is helping to change the conversation on prostate cancer.

Members of the public are encouraged to come along to Wednesday’s event to find out more.

Roger said: “It will be really relaxed with the focus on peer support and information sharing. We’re here to offer advice on testing for prostate cancer as well as support for possible outcomes, further check-ups and appropriate signposting to healthcare providers – come and chat to us… it could change your life.”

John Taylor Hospice, which provides expert end of life care across the West Midlands, is also keen for volunteers to step up and become health activists to help run the project. For more information, email r.wheelwright@nhs.net or visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk.