Be aware and beat the odds of prostate cancer

In the first of a two-part series on race and cancer, Jennifer Trueland cites new research showing that black men have a one in four risk of prostate cancer

In the first of a two-part series on race and cancer, Jennifer Trueland cites new research showing that black men have a one in four risk of prostate cancer

Abstract

Denton Wilson discovered he had prostate cancer aged 42, shortly after losing his father to the disease. Eighteen years later he is still raising awareness among black men. Nurses should understand the increased risks for black men of having and dying from prostate cancer.

Aged 42, Denton Wilson travelled to Jamaica to meet his father for the first time. Two weeks later, on his return to the UK, he got a call to say that the dad he had just got to know had died of prostate cancer.

Then when Mr Wilson saw his GP – having read up on the disease and learned it could run in families – he found out he had it too, although he had no symptoms.

‘It was terrible because I’d got to meet this man for just two weeks and then he died,’ says Mr Wilson.

‘My doctor didn’t want to test me because he said I was fit and healthy. I pointed out that I’d just buried my father, so I got the test and, sure enough, it was cancer. I thought how cruel God could be, letting me meet my father, then giving me a death sentence.’

That was 18 years ago. Since having his diseased prostate removed successfully, Mr Wilson has dedicated his life to raising awareness about prostate cancer.

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This article was first published in print under the original title 'Be aware and beat the odds’ in Nursing Standard: volume 30, issue 5

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