Elderly patient getting check-up

NHS awareness campaigns boosting prostate cancer diagnoses

In encouraging news in the fight against cancer, the latest NHS figures have revealed that the number of men who got prostate cancer treatment in August this year spiked by more than a quarter, compared to that time last year.

The NHS imply the jump is down to the launch of their campaign with Prostate Cancer UK that is encouraging people to use the charity’s prostate risk checker tool, which, since its roll out at the start of the year, is estimated to have helped almost 2,000 men get a diagnosis.

NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard confirmed that line of thinking when she hailed awareness-raising campaigns as the driving reason behind the surge, before affirming that talking about cancer “can save lives”.

Speaking ahead of her King’s Fund appearance, Pritchard said: “Talking about cancer saves lives – thanks to campaigns and tens of thousands more people coming forward for checks, we have treated increasing numbers of men with prostate cancer over the last year.

“This is good news for men and their families because getting treated at an earlier stage dramatically increases your chances of survival – early detection of prostate cancer has a near 100% survival rate.

“We are determined to detect even more cancers at an earlier stage when they are easier to treat and we are continuing to introduce new and convenient ways for people to get checked, including through pharmacy checks on the high street and the rollout of one-stop shops for tests in the heart of local communities.”

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers but if diagnosed early, it can be very treatable; research suggests that if it is treated at stage one and two, the survival rate is 100%, which drops to only 50% at stage four.

Piloting high-street cancer checks and symptom hotlines are just two of the measures the NHS has rolled out to facilitate diagnoses as early as possible and it will continue to innovate to reach goals set out in the Long Term Plan of catching more cancers than ever at the earliest possible stage.

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NHE May/June 2024

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