Prostate Problems

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2023 National Disabled Members' Conference
6 July 2023
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that prostate can affect more than one in three men over the age of 50. The prostate is a small gland found only in men, trans women, non-binary people who were assigned male at birth and some intersex people, we also note that data shows that African Caribbean people are more likely to get prostate cancer than white people.

The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and is about the size and shape of a walnut but tends to get bigger as you get older. It can sometimes become swollen or enlarged by conditions such as: prostate enlargement, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and prostate cancer.

Conference notes that people with prostate cancer are deemed to be disabled under the Equality Act 2010 as soon as the disease is diagnosed. They are therefore entitled to reasonable adjustments which could include time off for treatment or medical appointments, reduced or changed working hours, access to toilet facilities or reductions in workload, for example.

Most people with the condition don’t have any signs or symptoms because the onset is quite slow, that’s why it’s important to know about the risks. It is common that men will not talk about their personal issues so we need to encourage people to get tested. It’s a simple process of just talking to a nurse or GP.

Conference therefore instructs the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1)Support appropriate campaigns that encourage people to get tested for prostate problems.

2)Raise awareness of the rights of people with prostate problems in the workplace under the Equality Act 2010, including by circulating UNISON’s ‘Proving Disability and Reasonable Adjustments’ guide and our ‘Know Your Rights’ leaflet.