Colin McFarlane has revealed that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The Dark Knight star, 61, said he discovered the condition nine months after his brother was also diagnosed with the same cancer.
McFarlane, also known for his roles in Doctor Who and Outlander, explained that both he and his brother found out about the cancer after taking a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which can be given to men without symptoms after a consultation with a doctor.
The actor said that he has been regularly testing for cancer after a fellow actor who was treated for it 17 years ago told him about its prevalence among Black men.
He said: “I was already aware of the risk to me, so had been having annual and then six-monthly regular PSA blood tests with my GP.
“Thankfully, just over a year ago, I had told my brother to get a PSA blood test otherwise he wouldn’t have been diagnosed, because he had no symptoms.”
He added that he is “one of the lucky ones” as he has been “able to catch this very early”.
McFarlane added: “So, although I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I do not require any treatment.
“I am being regularly monitored with PSA blood tests every three months and an MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging scan) once a year.”
“As it’s a very slow-moving cancer I am in the best possible position to ascertain what treatment I would need in the future if that were ever deemed necessary, and currently that scenario is a long way off,” he continued.
“It’s men who take no action and don’t know anything about their prostate health that are at the greatest risk.”
His diagnosis arrived on the same day as his late mother Gwendolyn’s birthday. She died at the age of 94 earlier this year.
McFarlane is backing Prostate Cancer UK’s campaign to encourage men over 50 and Black men over 45 to get a PSA test, as a result of his experience.
The charity said that Black men are at double the risk of getting the disease, with one in four expecting to get it in their lifetime, compared to one in eight among other men.
McFarlane said: “Too many men black men are dying from prostate cancer. They need to know that a simple blood test could save their life.”
In The Dark Knight, McFarlane appeared as Gotham City police commissioner Gillian B Loeb, alongside Christian Bale and Sir Michael Caine. He has also made several appearances in Doctor Who and is the voice of The Cube on the ITV game show.
Additional reporting by PA
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