Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a further £75m in funding for “earlier and faster” diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, which kills more than 10,000 men each year
The funding has been announced to coincide with Male Cancer Awareness Week and will support 40,000 men to enrol studies of cutting-edge treatment and new screening tools for prostate cancer over the next five years.
It comes as a report by the charity Orchid detailed how four out of ten cases are diagnosed late, at stage three or four where the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.
The charity warned of a “ticking timebomb” in prostate cancer care, with stretched diagnostic and treatment services likely to be overwhelmed by a growing number of cases.
“Too many people endure the loss of a loved one because cancer diagnosis comes too late in the day,” May said.
“Our cancer treatments are world class and survival rates are at a record high, but prostate cancer still claims thousands of lives every year.
“I know we can do more. That’s why I am setting out new plans to help thousands of men get treated earlier and faster,” she added.
Prostate cancer affects one man in eight and is currently the third biggest cause of cancer death in the UK, it has overtaken breast cancer and on current trends is predicted to become the biggest killer by 2030.
The new funding will be concentrated on the groups at highest risk of prostate cancer, including black men, men over the age of 50 and those with a family history of the disease.
Commenting on the news, Dr Iain Frame, director of research at the charity Prostate Cancer UK said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and it is now the third most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK.
“However, with increased research investment used wisely, over the next few years we can turn this around and make prostate cancer a disease men no longer need to fear. This is what Prostate Cancer UK is striving for through our ambitious research programme.
“Today’s announcement shows a very welcome and positive commitment from the Government to play a key role in getting men the early and accurate diagnosis and treatments for prostate cancer they deserve.
“It at last shows recognition of what a huge issue prostate cancer is and the focus needed to stop it being a killer.”
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