Cab chats: Steve Barker talks to customers about the illness Picture: Glenn Copus

A taxi driver is encouraging people to talk about prostate cancer in the back of his cab.

Steve Barker, 52, who was diagnosed with the illness in September, is aiming to raise awareness. In September he was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. He is not having treatment and is being monitored by doctors, with regular blood tests and scans.

Mr Barker, of Harlow, said he felt “extremely lucky” his illness was caught when it was: “I knew very little about prostate cancer and it was only because of my girlfriend telling me to go to the doctors that they found it early. I realised, through talking to people, I wasn’t alone, and very few people knew about the symptoms.”

Realising his taxi would make a quiet, private place, Mr Barker is now making it his mission to talk to as many customers as possible. It coincides with the Movember charity month focusing on male health. “It’s not just men. Women have husbands, boyfriends, sons, brothers all of whom can be affected,” he said.

“I’ve got a big Movember poster in my cab and it gets the conversation going. Taxi drivers are well known for being chatty, so I don’t struggle.”

Mr Barker is growing a moustache for Movember. He and 23 colleagues are aiming to raise £5,000.

Figures from charity Prostate UK suggest more than 40,000 men a year are diagnosed with the illness in Britain, and about 250,000 live with the condition.

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