Research
27 May 2022

Prostate cancer referrals hit all-time high, thanks to your efforts to find the 14,000 men.

Back in February we asked you to help us find the 14,000 men living with undiagnosed prostate cancer because of the pandemic. You answered our call.

Last week we hit the headlines, as urgent referrals for urological cancers reached an all-time high in March, with 24,331 checked in just one month.

Thanks to our nationwide campaign with the NHS, and your efforts sharing the risk-checker with the men in your lives, more men than ever are having these vital conversations with their doctors.

NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard praised our campaign, saying “Lives are being saved thanks to a record-breaking number of men taking the vital decision to get an NHS cancer check. 

“The NHS in England has seen all-time high levels of referrals for urological cancers. But we know there is more to do to catch cancers earlier, which is why we’re investing billions to expand diagnostic and treatment capacity to treat more people sooner, as part of the most ambitious recovery plan in NHS history.  

Lives are being saved thanks to a record-breaking number of men taking the vital decision to get an NHS cancer check.
Amanda Pritchard NHS Chief Executive

“It can feel daunting confronting issues but talking about cancer can save lives, and it is so important that anyone at higher risk or who has concerns, follows the lead of people like Stephen Fry, Rod Stewart and Bill Turnbull, to get seen and treated as quickly as possible.”  

The latest NHS figures show the campaign had an immediate impact as urological cancer referrals in March increased by more than a fifth (23%) compared to the previous month and are up by almost one third (30%) compared with the same month last year.  

Symptoms of prostate cancer often do not show up during early stages but men who have higher risk are encouraged to come forward for checks.  

More than half a million people (550,000) checked their risk during the six weeks of the campaign, and our risk-checker gave men at high-risk the tools and encouragement to visit their GP to get checked out. 

Prostate cancer, one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, is very treatable if caught early, so it’s vitally important that the 14,000 men are found quickly before their cancer spreads. Research suggests treatment at stages 1 and 2 has a near 100% survival rate compared to around 50% at stage 4. 

Chiara De Biase, Director of Support & Influencing at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We're delighted that record numbers of men have already spoken to their GP, because it's so important that these men are found and referred. But we can’t stop here. We need to keep up the momentum, which is why we’re asking everyone to keep sharing our risk checker so even more men can find out about their risk and what to do about it.” 

Nick Lambert, 70, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020 after taking Prostate Cancer UK’s risk checker. 

Nick said: “I decided to take the risk checker after seeing it regularly in the footer of my friend Mark’s emails. Both my father and uncle had had prostate cancer, so after using it I spoke to my GP who referred me for a blood test - and that’s how I found out I had prostate cancer. 

“It’s great to hear that so many other men have been learning about their risk and speaking to their GP about prostate cancer. Now we need to keep shouting about it and help more men do the same so we can make sure they’re diagnosed as early as possible.” 

Thank you so much for your incredible efforts over the last few months. Together, we can find the 14,000 men if we keep this up. Please keep talking to your loved ones and sharing our 30-second risk checker. 

Share our risk checker with the men in your life.

 

Life-saving campaigns like this are only possible thanks to the ongoing support of people like you. Please consider giving a regular gift.

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