Singer songwriter Billy Ocean MBE is urging others from the African Caribbean communities to ‘get tough’ and follow his example by getting themselves checked for prostate cancer.
The 70-year-old recording artist, famous for topping the charts in 1985 with ‘When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going’, as well as a string of other top 20 hits, has backed the innovative #PlayDominoTalkProstate initiative launched by the Leicester-based Centre for BME Health.
In a short YouTube vlog, the Trinidad-born performer praises the campaign launched by Pamela Campbell-Morris, the Project Initiator and Community Champion at the Centre, and urged men to follow his lead and go through with a test.
He said: “Like a lot of people I have the same problem, I don’t like the method of being checked. I feel the same way but I think it’s better that I should go and get myself checked out and I advise everyone to do the same.
“There seems to be a lot of us, especially from the Caribbean, to be affected by this cancer so I’m going to get myself checked and I advise you to do the same.”
Statistics show one in four African Caribbean men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives, compared to one in eight men from other backgrounds.
Pamela Campbell-Morris said: “Throughout the 1970s and 80s Billy’s iconic hits made us all sit up and listen and I hope that people will do the same now and sit up and listen to Billy’s message.
“The #PlayDominoTalkProstate campaign is passionate about raising more awareness, predominantly amongst those of African and African Caribbean communities, about prostate cancer and the steps they can take to prevent it.”
Professor Kamlesh Khunti, who is the Director of the NIHR ARC East Midlands and is also Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “Any way that men from African and African Caribbean backgrounds can be encouraged to attend a test for prostate cancer is to be applauded and it is tremendous that a music icon like Billy Ocean is helping to spread this message.
“For the first time in history, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. Now, more than ever, it is vitally important that men take the necessary steps to get themselves checked for this preventable disease.”
Prostate problems can cause urinary symptoms, such as needing to rush to the toilet or needing to go more often than normal, however urinary symptoms are usually caused by problems that aren’t cancer such as an enlarged prostate or a urine infection.
Professor Khunti added: “If you are suffering symptoms you should get checked out by your GP. They will want to make sure you get the right diagnosis so you can get the right treatment, if you need it.”