A screening programme could change the lives of men across the UK

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Together we can change the way prostate cancer is diagnosed forever

We're delighted to announce that we’re looking to fund our biggest ever research project to make a national screening programme a reality. The trial will aim to recruit 20,000 men to determine whether the advances we’ve made in diagnosis can be brought together to form a national screening programme.

One man who really knows the importance of a screening programme is Tony Collier (in the video above). He was diagnosed last year with prostate cancer at the age of 60, but it had already spread to his bones. He said, “It’s been so difficult for the family to deal with, we feel as if we’re living in a parallel universe. My urologist told me that I could’ve had the cancer for 10 years. A screening programme could have caught my cancer in time, which would have given me many more years and today I wouldn’t be wondering how many Christmases I have left with my family.”

It’s stories like Tony’s, which are far too common, that drive us to keep improving the situation for all men. This Christmas, a donation could mean that prostate cancer is caught earlier, by revolutionising the way the disease is diagnosed.

When you hear that you have prostate cancer it’s devastating. When you hear that it’s incurable, it’s indescribable

- Tony Collier, 61

Why do we need a screening programme?

Prostate cancer often doesn’t have any symptoms until it has started to grow and spread outside the prostate. Every year over 9,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer too late and told that it can’t be cured. A screening programme could help diagnose men before it’s too late, so they have a 98 percent chance of surviving ten years instead of just 22 per cent. 

Unfortunately, this kind of ground-breaking research doesn’t come cheaply. A trial like this would cost about £5 million. That’s a lot to raise but it’s still a bargain when you compare it against the thousands of lives that could be saved every year. 

 

“The thought that my son and grandson are at a greater risk of prostate cancer because of my diagnosis is so hard to deal with. I really hope that within a few years’ time, by the time my son is in his 40s, that we have a screening programme in place.”

- Tony Collier

 

Of course, we all know that catching cancer early is better – it’s not as if this is a new ambition. What is new is the accumulation of 30 years of research that, with your support, has reached a critical mass. We’ve pulled together research into genetics and the increased risk from family history, biological markers in the blood and new mpMRI scans to give us the accuracy that we need.

In practice the trial would follow these steps:

  • Men would be invited for a blood test at their GP
  • If the test is positive they would be referred to a hospital to have an mpMRI scan
  • They would then be referred to a urologist to have a biopsy if the scan couldn’t rule out cancer

This requires the different specialities working together across the whole country and this has never been attempted anywhere in the world before for prostate cancer. The unique structure of the NHS means that we have the chance to make history.

A donation from you today would be the greatest gift to men across the country this Christmas.