Prostate Cancer: Ethnic Groups

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 17 April 2024.

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Photo of The Bishop of St Albans The Bishop of St Albans Convenor of the Lords Spiritual

To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to prioritise research into variation of the prevalence of prostate cancer among different ethnic groups.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department welcomes the recently announced TRANSFORM trial which aims to save thousands of men each year by finding the best way to screen for prostate cancer across all ethnic groups. It will be spread across the United Kingdom, although final decisions on specific locations are yet to be taken. Men will be invited to participate via their general practices. This study, led by Prostate Cancer UK and supported by the Government among others, will also aim to address some of the inequalities that exist in prostate cancer diagnosis today by ensuring that one in ten of the trial participants will be black men, who are three times overrepresented compared to the population of men aged between 45 and 75 years old as based on 2021 census data.

More broadly, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funds research in response to proposals received from scientists and commissioned calls rather than allocating funding to specific disease areas. It welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including prostate cancer. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made based on the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

In addition, to raise awareness of prostate cancer in this group, Leicester’s Centre for BME Health has developed a toolkit in partnership with the NIHR with guidance on how to start conversations about prostate cancer and overcome barriers to diagnosis.

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