New figures show more die from prostate cancer than breast cancer

05 March 2018

The number of men dying from prostate cancer has overtaken female deaths from breast cancer for the first time in the UK, new government figures have recently revealed.

The latest figures – taken from 2015 and announced at the end of January - show there were 11,819 deaths from prostate cancer compared with 11,442 from breast cancer.

March is Prostate Cancer Awareness month and Mr Bill Cross, a consultant urologist at Spire Hospital Leeds, would like men over 50 to take this opportunity to consider being tested for prostate cancer.

Bill Cross

About 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Currently, the cause of prostate cancer is largely unknown, but older men, men with a family history of prostate cancer and black men are more at risk.

Mr Cross said: “A blood test known as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can be the first step to checking for cancer but this only acts an indicator.”

“The problem with the PSA test is that levels can be raised by non-cancerous growths or infections and inflammation of the prostate. But it is better to be safe than sorry and, if necessary, follow-up tests will then allow doctors to be much more exact in their diagnosis.”

“It is important to use the Awareness Month to encourage more men to be tested but the message needs to be going out all through the year. Early detection can save lives so take the test – whatever month it is!”

Mr Cross pointed out that Leeds is a leading centre for prostate MRI scanning prior to prostate biopsy. This is one of the main reasons why men concerned about prostate cancer, especially those who live outside the region, opt to be investigated in Leeds, either under the NHS or privately.

“The good news is that, if spotted in time, prostate cancer is very treatable with latest figures showing that 84% of those treated live for 10 years or more after treatment.”

Prostate Cancer Facts

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men 
  • Over 46,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that's more than 120 men every day
  • Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 11,800 men every year
  • 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • Over 330,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer

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