Prostate cancer now the third biggest cancer killer in UK

Prostate cancer now the biggest cancer killer in UK

Prostate cancer has had less than half as much research as breast cancer

Friday, February 2, 2018

Prostate cancer has overtaken breast cancer to become the third biggest cancer killer in the UK, new research shows.

Prostate Cancer UK said 11,819 men are now dying from prostate cancer in the UK every year - the equivalent of one man every 45 minutes.

This compares with 11,442 women who die from breast cancer. Lung cancer and bowel cancer remain the two most common cancers to die from.

Trends show that the number of women dying from breast cancer has been steadily decreasing since 1999, but the same downward trend in fatalities is yet to be seen in prostate cancer.

Over the same period breast cancer has benefited from a screening programme, along with significant investments in research, and there have been more than double the number of published breast cancer studies compared with those looking into prostate cancer, the charity said.

Despite the alarming figures, the charity added that the shift does not represent a worsening situation for prostate cancer and men diagnosed today are two and a half times more likely to live for 10 years or more than if they were diagnosed in 1990.

The rising numbers are chiefly due to an increasing and ageing population.

Prostate Cancer UK chief executive Angela Culhane said: "It's incredibly encouraging to see the tremendous progress that has been made in breast cancer over recent years.

"With half the investment and half the research it's not surprising that progress in prostate cancer is lagging behind.

"However, the good news is that many of these developments could be applied to prostate cancer and we're confident that with the right funding, we can dramatically reduce deaths within the next decade."

The charity estimates that it needs to fund around £120 million of research over the next eight years to reverse the trend and achieve its 10-year goal, set in 2016, of halving the number of expected prostate cancer deaths by 2026.

In a bid to ramp up its fundraising, the charity has launched a series of March for Men walks around the UK to help raise funds.