Stand up to prostate cancer

01 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 this week revealed.

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

Now, as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which runs throughout March, Mr Jeetesh Bhardwa, MBChB, MRCS, MD, FRCS ( Urol), Consultant Urologist at Spire Thames Valley Hospital, wants to see a big rise in the number of men over 45-years-old visiting their GP for an examination that could save their life.

He explains: “The most common test usually involves a ‘digital examination’. That means the doctor feeling inside the man’s back passage. It is common practice for the doctor, usually takes less than a minute, is relatively painless and could save your life!”

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 brothers have been affected by prostate cancer are also at higher risk of being affected themselves.

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

“The problem with the PSA test is that levels can be raised by non-cancerous growths or urinary infections of the prostate. But it is better to be safe than sorry and, if necessary, a follow-up test 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!

“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 Fast 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.

Mr Bhardwa concludes: “With the new MRI scanner at the Spire Thames Valley hospital, which use specialist MRI scans for the prostate, we can now identify nearly 90 percent of patients with high risk prostate cancer who need treatment as well as those who don’t need any further investigations. This is known colloquially as “ The Mannogram”. If  a biopsy is indicated,  Mr Bhardwa uses the latest MRI–USS Fusion technique to target the suspicious lesion seen on MRI, thereby increasing manifold the accuracy of the diagnosis compared to the traditional way of doing the biopsy via the back passage.

There are now a multitude of treatments available for managing prostate cancer ranging from active surveillance to surgery to just tablets, once again our specialist Urologist will be able to guide you through these.

If you are concerned in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01753 655 404 or contact us on

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