Professional quizzer, Shaun ‘The Dark Destroyer’ Wallace has shared his experience of being checked for prostate cancer in support of an East Midlands campaign to encourage more black men to get checked for the preventable disease.
The barrister and Master Mind champion, known best for his role as Chaser on ITV’s The Chase quiz show, has backed the innovative #PlayDominoTalkProstate initiative launched by the Leicester-based Centre for BME Health.
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.
In a short YouTube vlog, the 60-year-old urged people to back the campaign launched by Pamela Campbell-Morris, the Project Initiator and Community Champion at the Centre, to encourage more people to get checked for the disease.
He said: “One in four black men of my age, I’m now 60-years-old, could suffer from prostate cancer. It is a preventable disease so it’s important that we, at the age we’re at now, go and have ourselves checked.
“I had myself checked two years ago and I was in the all clear but I’m not taking that for granted and I’m going to have myself checked real soon because it is a preventable disease.
“It can only be prevented if we take proper precautions and raise proper awareness that there is no need to be frightened in relation to having ourselves checked and that is one of the big problems black men face in relation to going to a doctor.”
Pamela Campbell-Morris said: “We are thrilled that Shaun Wallace, The Dark Destroyer, is supporting this fantastic project in helping to raise awareness of prostate cancer and the increased risk for men from African and African Caribbean backgrounds.
“By having Shaun on board we hope his message will help to raise more awareness, predominantly amongst those of African and African Caribbean communities, about prostate cancer and the steps they can take to prevent it.”
Shaun urged people to support the campaign and be aware that although prostate cancer can kill, it is a preventable disease.
He added: “Please, please, please support this particular campaign and please, please, please make sure you’re aware that prostate cancer is a killer, but it is a preventable disease.”
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: “New data shows that for the first time in history, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK.
“This huge news comes 10 years earlier than previously predicted. Latest figures from Prostate Cancer UK show that for cancer diagnoses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, when combined, bring the total number of prostate cancer diagnoses in the UK to 57,192, exceeding those of breast, lung and bowel cancers.
“Now, more than ever, it is vitally important that men take the necessary steps to get themselves checked for this preventable disease.”