PM announces injection of cash towards prostate cancer research

Theresa May has set out plans to help ensure that prostate cancer patients are "treated earlier and faster".

The Prime Minister has pledged £75 million towards clinical trials for the disease which will focus on improving early diagnosis and survival rates as well as exploring options for different treatments for men affected by the disease.

It is hoped that 40,000 men will be recruited to new research projects with the cash boost.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Mrs May is to announce the boost during a trip to a hospital in Cambridgeshire on Tuesday.

Officials said the new studies will particularly target men who are at higher risk of the disease including black men, men over the age of 50 and those with a family history of the disease.

During the visit Mrs May will also discuss long-term plans for the NHS with hospital staff.

It was recently announced that Government would provide a long-term plan for the health service in England later this year, the year which also sees the 70th anniversary of the health service.

"Too many people endure the loss of a loved one because cancer diagnosis comes too late in the day," Mrs May said ahead of the visit.

"Our cancer treatments are world class and survival rates are at a record high, but prostate cancer still claims thousands of lives every year.

"I know we can do more. That's why I am setting out new plans to help thousands of men get treated earlier and faster."

She added: "Now in its 70th year, our NHS has a bright future, since last November, we have already committed £10 billion in new funding, including a new pay deal for one million NHS workers.

"In fact, as part of our balanced approach to managing the economy we have increased spending on the health service every year since 2010.

"But I'm clear the way to secure the NHS's future is having a long-term plan, with sustainable multi-year funding.

"To inform this, I'll be meeting doctors, nurses and other NHS staff today to understand the challenges they face and discuss how we can effectively meet the demands of the future."

Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt added: "The NHS is a world leader in fighting cancer and survival rates are at record highs but there is still more to do, this research will ensure that many more lives are saved."

Commenting on the news, Dr Iain Frame, director of research at the charity Prostate Cancer UK said: "Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and it is now the third most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK.

"However, with increased research investment used wisely, over the next few years we can turn this around and make prostate cancer a disease men no longer need to fear.

"This is what Prostate Cancer UK is striving for through our ambitious research programme.

"Today's announcement shows a very welcome and positive commitment from the Government to play a key role in getting men the early and accurate diagnosis and treatments for prostate cancer they deserve.

"It at last shows recognition of what a huge issue prostate cancer is and the focus needed to stop it being a killer."

In the UK, about one in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

Prostate cancer does not normally cause symptoms until the malignancy has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra, this normally results in problems associated with urination.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "Labour has long been calling for more investment to boost the fight against prostate cancer. But let's be clear - years of underfunding and abject failure to invest in the frontline doctors and nurses we need means Theresa May is letting down cancer patients.

"This winter hundreds of cancer operations were cancelled despite Tory promises the NHS was better prepared than ever before, and thousands of patients are still waiting beyond the target of 62 days for treatment after an urgent GP referral.

"To offer cancer patients the best quality of care we need a fully funded, properly staffed NHS."