The terrible toll on men diagnosed with late stage prostate cancer has prompted a new campaign.
Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, with one man an hour dying of the disease, equivalent to 11,600 a year.
To mark Male Cancer Awareness Week which begins today, the cancer charity Orchid has launched a new campaign urging doctors to be more aware of the symptoms of the disease.
The latest statistics follow a five-year trend and are coupled with a survey, commissioned by the charity which highlight that awareness of prostate cancer risk factors amongst GPs is worryingly low, particularly in relation to ethnicity and family history:
Less than half of all GPs surveyed recognised that family history and age are primary risk factors, despite family history potentially doubling a man’s risk and incidence being highest in the over 50s.
Fifteen per cent of GPs mistakenly thought infections such as HPV were a primary risk factor for prostate cancer
Orchid’s Chief Executive, Rebecca Porta is calling on family doctors to consider prostate cancer risk even before men present with symptoms. She said: “We know from previous research that 60% of men are not confident in recognising the symptoms of prostate cancer and 31% have no knowledge of the disease so the GP-patient interface is essential to reverse the continued increase in late stage diagnosis.
“Whilst we appreciate that GP time is limited, we urge them to incorporate a prostate cancer awareness discussion into every consultation with at-risk men”.
Late diagnosis can reduce chances of survival, limit treatment options or result in more invasive interventions.
Orchid’s F.A.C.E. up to prostate cancer campaign is therefore encouraging GPs, men and their families to be aware of four key risk factors and for men and their family doctor to discuss any concerns in order to achieve earlier stage diagnosis. They are: Family history, Age, Change in urinary habits and Ethnicity.
For more details visit www.orchid-cancer.org.uk