Prostate diagnosis rising ONS report says

The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on the latest Office For National Statistics Cancer Registrations report, which indicates that the diagnosis rate of prostate cancer continues to rise.

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "The data shows that the number of new cases of prostate cancer, already the most common cancer in men in the UK, rose significantly in 2009 in England. This increase can be attributable to a number of factors, including an increase in the use of the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test by GPs, the first step in prostate cancer diagnosis, as well as the fact that this disease mainly affects men over 50 against the backdrop of an ageing population.

"Not enough is known about the causes of prostate cancer to confidently advise men on how they can prevent it. As this diagnosis rate continues to rise, it is clear that more needs to be invested in research, not only to look at the causes of this disease, but to find a test capable of forming the basis of a national screening programme. Although funding is rising, investment is still low, when compared to other common cancers. Funding for research into breast cancer, which led the way as a movement for women's health, was twice that of prostate cancer in 2010, for instance.

"In addition to investment in research, The Prostate Cancer Charity is calling upon the Government for a number of improvements to ensure that all men have access to 'Gold Standard' treatment and support services regardless of where they live and a national clinical audit to gather robust data on treatment outcomes. In addition, the Charity is calling for all men over 50, and younger men in at risk groups, to have balanced information and the one to one support they need to decide whether having a PSA test is right for them. We know that men from lower socio economic groups are less aware of prostate cancer and the PSA test, and there is variation in survival rates of men in different postcodes."