Medical Negligence

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month begins

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, March 02, 2020

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month has begun across the UK, highlighting the disease and its effects on sufferers and their loved ones.

Awareness of prostate cancer has been steadily improving, to the point where it was announced in January that it is now the most diagnosed cancer in the country.

Risk factors

The three main risk factors for getting prostate cancer are unchangeable characteristics. These a family history of the disease, being black and getting older – the disease mainly affects men aged 50 and over.

When it comes to reducing your risk, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the most important thing you can do. According to Prostate Cancer UK, “a healthy diet and regular exercise are important for health, and might help lower your risk of being diagnosed with advanced or aggressive prostate cancer”.

The charity added that the latest research has suggested that being overweight may increase your risk of being diagnosed with aggressive or advanced prostate cancer.

More prostate cancer diagnoses

In January 2020, it was announced that prostate cancer is now the most diagnosed cancer in the UK. This has been put down to the fact celebrities Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull have both recently gone public about their diagnoses, as well as the fact that in 2018, Prostate Cancer UK found that the disease was the third biggest cancer killer in the UK.

Heather Blake, director of support and influencing at the charity, said: “The dramatic increase in diagnoses between 2017 and 2018 is likely a reflection of the surge in referrals sparked by the announcement that prostate cancer had become the third biggest cancer killer and high-profile individuals, such as Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull, sharing their experience of the disease.

“It is a good thing that awareness of this killer disease is increasing, and more men are taking control by discussing it with their GP.”

Survival

Prostate cancer survival in the UK has tripled in the last 40 years and the survival rates are better than most other cancers. Cancer Research UK has found that 84% of men diagnosed with the disease survive for 10 or more years, with 94% surviving after one year and 85% after five.

This is compared to lung cancer, for example, which has just a 4% survival rate for 10 years in men, or cancer of the oesophagus, which has a 12% survival rate for 10 years.

This high survival is due, in part, to the detection of latent, earlier, slow-growing tumours. Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, the 10-year survival for prostate cancer ranks third highest, both overall and for men only.

Testing

Although diagnosis rates are increasing, men still wait a long time to get theirs. The National Cancer Diagnosis Audit (NCDA) found that men wait an average of 56 days for a primary care interval for prostate cancer.

The NCDA also found that 22% of men suffered an avoidable delay in receiving their prostate cancer diagnosis.

If you have had a misdiagnosis or delayed prostate cancer diagnosis, you could be entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered. To find out how First4Lawyers could help you through the process, just give us a call, request a call back or start your claim online.

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