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NHS reports rise in prostate cancer treatments in England

Prostate Cancer UK’s risk checker has been used over a million times since its launch in February

NHS

New NHS figures have shown a significant rise in the number of men having treatment for prostate cancer, having gone up by more than a quarter in England in one year.

The NHS highlights that 4,000 men received prostate cancer treatment in August (3,898), compared to nearly 3,000 in the same month in 2021 (3,057).

The notable surge in treatment can be attributed to the launch of a joint NHS and Prostate Cancer UK initiative, focused on encouraging men to utilise the charity’s prostate risk checker tool. NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, credited awareness-raising campaigns, reinforcing that conversations around cancer “can save lives”.

The risk checker, which was set up in February this year, has been used over a million times and is believed to have supported an extra 1,800 men in receiving a diagnosis.

Urological checks, in general, have seen an increase – including for prostate cancer– with over 40,000 more between August 2021 and August 2022, compared to the previous year (243,043 in the year ending August 2022 compared to 202,252 in year before).

At earlier stages, prostate cancer can seem symptomless, however if symptoms do appear, they can include the need to pee more frequently – often during the night – difficulty with urination, a weak flow, a feeling that the bladder is not fully empty, blood in urine or blood in semen.

As one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, prostate cancer is very treatable, if caught early, with research suggesting treatment at stages one and two has a near 100% survival rate, compared to about 50% when caught at stage four.

In line with the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS is pushing forward with its extensive plans to further increase early stage cancer diagnosis with the introduction of high street pilot schemes promoting cancer checks in local pharmacies, as well as offering cancer symptom hotlines.

Commenting on the latest figures, NHS national clinical director for Cancer, Professor Peter Johnson, said: “It is fantastic to see men coming forward in record numbers for checks, and that means more are getting treated, potentially catching cancers early when the results are best.

“Symptoms may not show up in the early stages of prostate cancer, but the risk factors are well researched and we urge people to use the Prostate Cancer UK risk checker to understand their level of risk and where to get more information.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

3rd November 2022

From: Healthcare

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