Steve McQueen, British director and advocate, has produced a new film in collaboration with the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign. Titled ‘Embarrassed’, the film and subsequent campaign have been created to help raise awareness of prostate cancer within the black community.
The initiative features Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Micheal Ward and Morgan Freeman, and is set to screen for the first time at the Tate Britain gallery in London this evening (25 November). A study by Public Health England published in July 2015 by BMC Medicine showed that 1 in 4 black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 1 in 12 black men will die from the disease. When compared to the results for other major ethnic groups in England, this data shows that black men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with, and lose their lives to prostate cancer than white men.
The campaign raises awareness for the issue, by highlighting these statistics for all men. Through the film, McQueen and the MCAC hope to encourage men to arm themselves with knowledge, as well as to overcome the stigma and embarrassment around getting tested – because early diagnosis saves lives.The message of the campaign is simple: don’t be embarrassed.
It doesn’t stop with the screening, though: the MCAC plan to take the campaign on the road to community groups and councils to spread awareness. With greater public awareness and widespread support, it hopes to inspire future research to help discover why black men are disproportionately affected.