Prostate cancer is now bigger killer 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 revealed.

The latest figures, taken from 2015 show there were 11,819 deaths from prostate cancer compared with 11,442 from breast cancer.

Mr Simon Wilkinson, a Consultant Urologist at Spire Portsmouth Hospital would encourage men over 45 years old to visit their GP for an examination that could save their life.

He explained: "The most common test usually involves a digital rectal examination.  This allows the doctor to feel the prostate through the wall of the back passage.  It is a common practice for the doctor, usually takes less than a minute and is relatively painless".

The causes of prostate cancer, which is responsible for more than 10,000 UK deaths each year, are largely unknown but what is certain is that chances of developing it increase in men over 50 years of age. Although it is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent it is actually less common in men of Asian descent.

Men whose father or brother has been affected by prostate cancer are also at higher risk of being affected themselves.

Mr Wilkinson said: "A blood test known as prostate specific antigen (PSA) can be the first step in helping to diagnose prostate problems, including prostate cancer".

"A raised PSA may suggest a problem with the prostate, but not necessarily cancer.  Other things can cause PSA levels to rise including urinary infections and benign prostate enlargement.  But it is better to be safe than sorry and, if necessary, further investigations will allow doctors to provide a more accurate diagnosis".

"It is important to use the Awareness Month to encourage men to be tested but the message needs to continue throughout the year as early detection can save lives."

"The good news is that, if diagnosed early, prostate cancer is very treatable with latest figures showing that 84% of men are predicted to survive their disease for 10 years or more".

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 hour one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 10,500 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.

Find out more about Mr Simon Wilkinson, Consultant Urologist practising at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.

The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

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