Comic book launched to help raise awareness of prostate cancer

Comic book launched to help raise awareness of prostate cancer

A free comic book to encourage men from African and African Caribbean communities to take control of their prostate health has been produced by campaigners in Leicester to help raise awareness of the silent killer, now the most common cancer in the UK.

The Domino Effect, available in digital and print versions, has been produced by the University of Leicester Health Matters project and The Centre for BME Health in conjunction with members of the community.

It is the further development of the #PlayDominoTalkProstate Campaign launched by Pamela Campbell-Morris, the Project Initiator and Community Champion at the Centre for BME Health, to encourage more people to get checked for the disease.

The illustrated 24-page comic helps to allay the fears associated with the diagnostic tests and shares the personal experiences of a young father called Barrington who lost his life to the disease as well as those who have survived it.

Pamela Campbell-Morris said: “After years of engaging in various community-focused projects I thought of an innovative way to enhance the delivery of serious messages using the cultural game of Domino as a vehicle. So far, this approach has been very effective and the message is gradually getting through, with specialist nurses reporting an increase in black men coming forward to get checked.

“We’ve also noted a positive difference in the engagement and willingness to talk more openly about prostate cancer. This comic book reflects this innovative approach and will further enhance our work and message in this area.”

A member of the community said: “I would like to say a Big Thanks for the ‘Play Domino Talk Prostate’ Campaign including the comic book ‘Domino Effect’. This is real stuff – a game of domino, simple as it may seams, this ticks a lot of boxes for me culturally, educationally and socially. 

“The comic book – it speaks to me directly as a Black man. I feel that I can relate to the entire campaign, it is practical, very inspirational and helpful information specifically informing Black men about their increased risks. I feel very confident to now help to spread these strong messages to all men, in particular my Black brothers. Well done.”

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.

The comic is supported by Prostaid and Stacie-Licious Cakes as well as the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands.

The Centre for BME Health is working to reduce health inequality in the region by sharing resources and promoting research.

The Centre is funded by the University of Leicester and the NIHR ARC East Midlands, which is a partnership of regional health services, universities and industry which turns research into cost-saving and high-quality care through cutting-edge innovation.

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: “Latest figures from Prostate Cancer UK show there were 57,192 new cases in 2018 compared with 57,153 breast cancer cases, 48,054 cases of lung cancer and 42,879 cases of bowel cancer.

 “These figures come a decade earlier than previously predicted, largely due to increased awareness which has led to more men getting diagnosed, however the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a reduction in referrals for all types of cancer, including prostate cancer, so it is important to help spread awareness of this disease.”

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