Today we renew our MANifesto and call for fresh support for our movement in response to new data showing prostate cancer deaths hit a record high of 12,000 in one year.
New nationwide data shows the number of men dying from prostate cancer in the UK has exceeded 12,000 in one year for the first time ever. This is unacceptable. Today we renew our MANifesto to unite the brightest minds in science and healthcare and the most passionate and caring people, to deliver the future men deserve.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and is set to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer overall by 2030, as the ageing population grows. Overall a man diagnosed in 2020 has a much-improved chance of survival compared to a man diagnosed 10 years ago, but with the number of affected men increasing, UK-wide data for 2017 showed the highest ever recorded yearly deaths from the disease.
This is despite medical advances in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer and increased national interest in recent years. Now we're urging action and renewed focus on tackling the problem, with ambitious research plans and a refreshed strategy.
Thanks to the breadth and depth of our work over the last 20 years, we’re in a very strong position. We know exactly what needs to be done to reduce the numbers of men being killed and lives being damaged.
We identified two main barriers to curbing the number of deaths: late diagnosis and cancer recurrence. At the moment, only 47% of men are diagnosed at an early stage when there is a much greater chance of the disease being cured.
This is some way from the NHS England ambition for 75% of people with cancer to be diagnosed at an early stage. In addition, many men who are treated for prostate cancer which is thought to be curable unfortunately go on to see their cancer return.
Today we set out our research plans to reduce the number of men dying from the disease, so that in the future all men diagnosed will have the best possible chance of surviving prostate cancer.
To have the biggest possible impact for men with prostate cancer, those not yet diagnosed and future generations, we need to tackle these priorities.
Spotting prostate cancer early is crucial. We're working with experts to identify the best route to early diagnosis. The aim of this work is to confirm whether recent improvements in the approach to diagnosis (such as pre-biopsy mpMRI scanning) could mean we have the foundation of a routine national screening programme. If not, this work will help us pinpoint what research is needed to make screening a reality.
We're improving the effectiveness of treatments for localised prostate cancer so that fewer men see their disease return. This will include innovative surgical and radiotherapy trials, and trials into other new treatment approaches for localised disease. We'll also continue to fund research into more effective treatments for advanced disease.
We're using the power of big data, working with partners to analyse and combine data from tens of thousands of men who've been diagnosed and treated for different types and stages of prostate cancer. The aim is to find patterns in when the cancers started, how they developed and how aggressive they are. In the future this could help doctors predict how particular prostate cancers are likely to develop so we can choose the most appropriate treatment for each man.Our MANifesto
Today our Chief Executive, Angela Culhane said “By 2030, prostate cancer is set to be the most commonly diagnosed of all cancers in the UK. Before we reach this point, we must ensure that as many of these men as possible have their prostate cancer caught early and successfully treated, so their lives are not cut short by the disease. The fact that deaths from the disease are still reaching record highs serves as a stark reminder of the work yet to do.
As this new decade starts, we’re proud to announce the next phase of our research plans as part of our wider overall strategy. Our research investments are already helping extend and improve the lives of men with this disease, but we need to redouble our efforts if we are to achieve change fast enough.”
Culhane continued, “There’s great momentum behind the cause, and in the last two years we’ve seen unprecedented funds raised by our supporters, improvements in diagnosis and treatment, and pledges from decision makers to take action to fight the disease. Our call today is for our supporters, the government and health providers to keep up the pace and keep fighting prostate cancer until it’s a disease that men no longer need to fear. We’ve still got a way to go.”
Our call today is for our supporters, the government and health providers to keep up the pace and keep fighting prostate cancer until it’s a disease that men no longer need to fear. We’ve still got a way to go.
Journalist, presenter and Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Bill Turnbull said: “As someone whose prostate cancer was diagnosed once it had spread, I’m all too aware of how important it is that we find ways to improve diagnosis and treatment so that in the future lives are not cut short by this disease.
I’m all too aware of how important it is that we find ways to improve diagnosis and treatment so that in the future lives are not cut short by this disease.
“In the two years since I went public with my illness, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many brilliant people who are doing their bit to fight prostate cancer. From researchers to health professionals, fundraisers and volunteers. It’s been hugely inspiring.
However, more still needs to be done. If everyone across the country does one thing to support Prostate Cancer UK this year, then we can make a huge impact. We must keep up the momentum until prostate cancer is no longer a danger to thousands of men every year.”
We have the plans and the expertise, but we need a much bigger team of supporters to fund the work to make our vision a reality. Join the movement. Men, we are with you.