Check your cancer risk and be aware – new NHS mobile van comes to Bury and Prestwich

A new NHS mobile ‘clinic in a van’ is coming to Bury and Prestwich so staff can talk to men about their risk of prostate cancer.

The ThisVanCan roadshow is aimed at black men aged over 45 who are more at risk of developing prostate cancer than other men. 1 in 4 black men will develop prostate cancer.

The van is also open to all other men and people with a prostate aged over 45 who have a family history of prostate, breast or ovarian cancer. This means your father or brother has had prostate cancer when they were under the age of 55 or your mother or sister has had breast or ovarian cancer when they were under the age of 50. This is because family history can also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.

Those visiting the van can also choose whether or not to have a free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.

The roadshow will be visiting Bury and Prestwich as well as one in neighbouring Salford on the following dates:

  • 2 October – Kay Gardens, Bury Town Centre BL9 0BL
  • 4 October – Tesco Superstore, Woodfields Retail Park, Peel Way, Bury BL9 5BY
  • 7 October – Tesco Superstore, Woodfields Retail Park, Peel Way, Bury BL9 5BY
  • 11 October – Longfield centre – Prestwich, Manchester M25 1AY
  • 12 October – Newbury Green Medical Practice, 55 Rigby Street, Salford M7 4NX
  • 14 October – Tesco Superstore, Valley Park Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 3TG

Visit www.thisvancan.co.uk for more information.

Appointments are available to book in advance. Call 07974074111 or email [email protected].

The roadshow is being run by the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance – part of the NHS, working in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK, the Caribbean and African Health Network, BHA for Equality and charity Can-Survive UK.

Mr Sotonye Tolofari, a consultant surgeon who treats prostate cancer and Clinical Director for Urological Cancers at the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, but most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any symptoms. You are more at risk of developing prostate cancer if you’re black and over 45 than other people.

“We want black men to be aware of the risk and to visit us on board our van when it comes to your area. We are also keen to talk to anyone with a prostate who is over 45 with a family history of prostate, breast or ovarian cancer which can also increase your risk. By family history, we mean your father or a brother has had prostate cancer when they were under the age of 55 or your mother or a sister has had breast or ovarian cancer when they were under the age of 50.

“We will chat to you about what might increase your risk of prostate cancer and discuss the implications of having a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.”

The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. A raised PSA level may suggest you have a problem with your prostate, but not necessarily cancer. The test does not give a conclusive diagnosis on its own, but together with information about your individual lifestyle and risk it can be a helpful tool for doctors to decide if you may need further tests or treatment. You can find out more on the Prostate Cancer UK website.

Men who opt to have a PSA test while visiting the van will be given their results within a couple of weeks and referred on for further investigations if needed.

Gilly had a PSA blood test in 2014 and the results showed he required further investigation. He had further tests including an internal examination and biopsy, after which he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was treated with surgery to remove his prostate and is now fit, healthy and living a good life.

“We need to kill the taboo and get black men talking about prostate cancer. You need to know your risk. This van will help do that.

“This van will help start conversations that need to happen. We need to go to people and speak their language. If your dad or brother has had prostate cancer, there’s a much bigger risk.

“Black men over 45 are more likely to develop prostate cancer. If you’re black, male and over 45 I’d encourage you to attend an appointment – and if appropriate have the PSA test – it might just save your life.”

Fin McNicol, 55, a father-of-three, from Trafford, who lost his father to prostate cancer, said: “If like me your dad has had prostate cancer or your brother, it’s really important you know your risk. I think this van is a great idea. You can book an appointment and check your risk.”

The van is touring Greater Manchester between May and October 2023. The schedule of locations is available at www.thisvancan.co.uk and updated regularly.

Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance has worked with a range of partners on this pilot project.

Amy Rylance, Head of Improving Care at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Early prostate cancer is very treatable, but early prostate cancer doesn’t often have symptoms. We welcome this initiative to take lifesaving risk awareness conversations into the hearts of communities most at risk so that more men have the chance of a cure.”

Marcella Turner, Chief Executive Officer at Can-Survive, said: “Can-Survive UK is happy to be part of this important initiative, working with partners to raise awareness about prostate cancer, particularly within the Black African Caribbean community.

“This is a huge step in encouraging Black men to find out more about their risk of prostate cancer and, where appropriate, get a PSA test, within their local area in familiar community settings – leading to earlier diagnosis, improved prognosis, and outcomes. This project will help to reduce stigma, make it okay to talk about cancer and hopefully save lives.”

Aydin Djemal, Chief Executive Officer at BHA for Equality, said: Aydin Djemal, Chief Executive Officer at BHA for Equality, said: “The NHS mobile van is a great idea, which takes quick and simple information about prostate cancer and the option for free PSA blood tests to where people live their lives, rather than making them go to a GP setting.

“Being aware of your prostate cancer risk and being able to choose to have regular PSA tests is especially true for black men 45 and over, with 1 in 4 being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“BHA is delighted to support this work, which will save lives by increasing the rate of early diagnosis.”

Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Chief Officer at CAHN, said: “It is stark inequality that 1 in 4 men in the Black Caribbean and African community will get prostate cancer. This concerning situation is the reason why CAHN is delighted to be partnering with the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance and other organisations on the ‘This Van Can’ roadshow.

“Through this initiative in Greater Manchester, we would raise awareness and educate our community on the risks of prostate cancer and encourage men to discuss having a PSA blood test as early as possible. Early detection is key in the fight against prostate cancer, and we urge Black men to take action to reduce fatalities and improve life chances.”

You can find out more about prostate cancer on the Prostate Cancer UK website or take a 30 second risker checker.

For more information about the This Van Can roadshow visit www.thisvancan.co.uk


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