Prostate cancer overtakes breast cancer diagnoses

Prostate cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England, provisional figures from Public Health England show.

There were 49 029 diagnoses of prostate cancer in 2019, 7828 more than in 2018. The disease has now overtaken breast cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer.

According to Prostate Cancer UK, the increase in diagnoses is likely due to two key factors: more men having a PSA test following celebrities Bill Turnbull and Stephen Fry talking about their prostate cancer journeys, increasing awareness of the disease and creating what is now called the Turnbull-Fry effect; and the fact that men are living longer, which increases their likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Heather Blake, Director of Support and Influencing at Prostate Cancer UK, says: ‘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 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.’

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