A new NHS mobile ‘clinic in a van’ is coming to Gorton Monastery to talk to men about their risk of prostate cancer. Who is it for? The ThisVanCan roadshow is
A new NHS mobile ‘clinic in a van’ is coming to Gorton Monastery to talk to men about their risk of prostate cancer.
Who is it for?
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.
When will the NHS van be in Gorton?
The roadshow will be at Gorton Monastery on May 17th between 11am-5pm.
How can I get a test?
Appointments are available to book in advance.
Call 07974074111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit www.thisvancan.co.uk to see when the van is in your area.
There will also be a limited number of drop-in appointments on the day.
Who is organising the roadshow?
The roadshow 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.
Why is it necessary?
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.”
What is a PSA 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.
Mr Tolofari added: “If prostate cancer is caught early, before symptoms appear, it’s easier to treat. Our ThisVanCan roadshow means you can book an appointment close to your home or work and come and have a chat with our team.”
Case study: diagnosis
Gilbert Morgan, aged 58, a prostate cancer survivor from Moston, Manchester, is backing the campaign and urging black men to be aware of their prostate cancer risk.
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.
The dad-of-four and a grandad-of-three said: “When I was told I had prostate cancer my world fell apart. But now I know if you catch it early it is so much easier to treat. 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.”
Case study: diagnosis
Winston Carrington, 72, from Withington, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 after going to his doctor. The granddad-of-three had an examination and was referred to Withington Hospital for further tests including a PSA blood test and a biopsy. He was then treated with brachytherapy at The Christie hospital and is now in remission. He has regular PSA blood tests, takes regular medication and remains well.
He said: “This van is perfect! It’s so needed. It’s going to be coming to local areas and making information about prostate cancer and the chance for a PSA blood test more available. I know from the awareness talks I do now that black men are hungry for information. This will make it easier to access by coming out to us. It’s about saving lives!
Everyone should check it out and know their risk. I’d never heard of prostate cancer before I went to the doctor. I didn’t even know what a prostate was. Getting checked out was the best thing that could have happened to me. I want to help others realise that there is something you can do about prostate cancer. I don’t want people to die of ignorance.
If you are over 45 and black, go and visit this van or visit your GP and get checked out. If you get diagnosed early enough, you can have your treatment and carry on with your life. For me that’s been seeing my grandchildren grow up. Don’t risk not catching it early by being embarrassed or too busy to go to the doctor. Don’t die of ignorance.”
Case study: relatives
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 just book an appointment and check your risk.”
The van will tour Greater Manchester between May and September 2023 starting in Hulme. The schedule of locations is available here and updated regularly.
To book an appointment
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: “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.
Directions to the Monastery here.
(Wednesday) 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Monastery Manchester
89, Gorton Lane