Too many men diagnosed with prostate cancer late – charity

Too many men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer after the disease has spread, a charity has said.

A total of 42,975 were told they had the disease in England and Wales between April 2016 and March 2017, according to the fifth annual National Prostate Cancer Audit.

In England, the proportion whose cancer was metastatic at the point of diagnosis – meaning it had spread to a different part of the body – was 16%, the figures show.

This remains unchanged from 2015/16.

Heather Blake, director of support and influencing and Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Unfortunately, there are still too many men being diagnosed with prostate cancer that has already spread, meaning their survival chances are greatly reduced.

“In line with NHS ambitions to diagnose more cancers early, we want to see a significant reduction in the proportion of men diagnosed at late stage.”

The report also showed that more men in England are being diagnosed with locally advanced prostate cancer, when the disease is present in nearby tissues or lymph nodes.

Almost two in five men (39%) were diagnosed with locally advanced prostate cancer in 2016/17, up from 35% the previous year.

However Prostate Cancer UK said it was “good to see” a reduction in the number of men with a low-risk from the disease who were potentially “over-treated” last year.

Only 4% of men with low-risk localised prostate cancer underwent surgery or radiotherapy, compared to 8% in 2015/16, with more opting to keep an eye on the cancer instead, the report said.

The audit was led by the Royal College of Surgeons in partnership with NHS England and Wales.

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