A study by Public Health England published in 2015 showed that one in four Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and one in twelve Black men will die from the disease – figures double that of white men.
These shocking numbers hit home for Academy-Award winning filmmaker, Sir Steve McQueen, whose father sadly passed away from the disease. So when approached by Male Cancer Awareness Campaign’s founder and no Volunteer CEO, Patrick Cox, the British filmmaker saw a vital opportunity to use his influence and platform to help spread the message, raise awareness and dissolve the stigma surrounding the disease.
Hence Embarrassed, a highly impactful short film created by McQueen and starring four prominent award-winning Black actors: Idris Elba OBE, Chiwetel Ejiofor CBA, Micheal Ward and Morgan Freeman. Supported by Belstaff and premiered at the Tate Britain last night, Embarrassed aims to dispel the myths around prostate cancer, encouraging Black men to ask their doctors for a PSA blood test while also spreading the message between family and friends: prostate cancer is curable if caught and treated in the very early stages.
“We are asking the Black community to start the conversation about prostate cancer with family, friends, work colleagues and the wider community,” says Male Cancer Awareness Campaign’s Patrick Cox. “Black men are in the higher risk category from prostate cancer and early detection is key. We know this film has the ability to help save lives. Don’t be embarrassed.”
A wider long-term goal of the campaign is to encourage the British Government and health authorities to introduce automatic PSA testing of Black men aged 45 and over – the higher-risk demographic. For now, watch the film, spread the word and get checked.
Find more information here.