Maria Caulfield, Member of Parliament for Lewes, has welcomed the announcement of a major new prostate cancer screening trial that could save thousands of men’s lives.
Backed by £42 million of funding from the Government and Prostate Cancer UK, will use innovative screening methods such as MRI to detect prostate cancer, and it will see hundreds of thousands of men across the country participating.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and has no screening programme. It usually has no symptoms until it has grown large and may be more difficult to treat and, sadly, 12,000 men die of it every single year.
A way of effectively screening for prostate cancer could find these men before their cancer spreads and save their lives. The trial has the potential to see new screening methods give more accurate results than the current blood tests, which can miss some cancers and often suggest prostate cancer when no cancer exists. Crucially, screening could also spot the disease even when no symptoms are displayed.
£16 million will be invested by the Government for the trial through the National Institute of Health Research and Prostate Cancer UK, who have led the development of the trial, will provide £26m. The trial is due to start in Spring 2024 with recruitment likely to begin in Autumn 2024.
The government has already opened 127 community diagnostic centres to offer quicker, more convenient checks outside of hospitals for conditions such as cancer, with over 5 million additional tests delivered so far.
The Major Conditions Strategy will also consider the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions including cancer. The UK is already working with world renowned scientists to deliver new cancer vaccine trials and is growing the size of the specialist workforce.
Maria Caulfield MP said:
“I very much welcome this funding to launch a screening programme for prostate cancer. Until now, prostate cancer has been the most common cancer which didn’t have a national screening programme. If we can locate prostate cancer at a much earlier stage we can hopefully save thousands of lives a year”
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Victoria Atkins said:
“Cancer survival rates continue to improve in the UK, with the disease being diagnosed at an earlier stage more often. But more must be done.
Our hope is that this funding will help to save the lives of thousands more men by through advanced screening methods that can catch prostate cancer as early as possible.
Alongside this, we are supporting more men to access important heart and circulatory health checks in their workplace to help prevent issues like heart disease and stroke.”