Prostate Cancer: Ethnic Groups

Health written question – answered on 27th March 2007.

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Photo of David Clelland David Clelland Labour, Tyne Bridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that men with prostate cancer receive equal treatment regardless of ethnic background.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

Developing policy which benefits all sectors of the community is absolutely central to the role of the Department, and we have a strong commitment to promoting race equality. The Department welcomed the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action's report, "Tackling Prostate Cancer in Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Groups", published in September 2006. We know that men of African origin are more at risk of developing prostate cancer, and the Department funded two of the key studies featured in the report, the successful African Caribbean Awareness Project and the Prostate Cancer in Ethnic Subgroups research study.

Good progress has been made in considering the recommendations of the report. The recommendations were included for consideration in the cancer equality action plan, which fed into the Department action plan to support the publication of the single equality scheme on 4 December 2006.

With specific reference to treatment, the cancer action team (CAT) have appointed to the post of Associate Director: Patient Experience. This post is being funded by the National Audit Office, and the postholder begins work on 1 April 2007. Responsibilities will cover equality issues for cancer, including prostate cancer, as follows:

"provide leadership on BME issues within the CAT; promote 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 work with key stakeholders and selected cancer networks to develop best practice guidance for cancer networks (including needs of local population, awareness raising, information and support for patients, end of life care and promoting the implementation of guidance)."

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