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High profile prostate cancer cases highlight the need for awareness and testing for the disease

Following the recent announcement that the life-extending prostate cancer drug olaparib has been rejected for use on NHS, there has been concern raised over the awareness of prostate cancer in the UK.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has rejected the use of the drug after officials ruled it is not worth the money, according to Cancer Research UK.

The innovative drug is the first treatment for the cancer introduced in the UK; it has been approved for use in Scotland but will not be available in England and Wales.

What is prostate cancer?

The prostate is a small gland; it sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra. Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow. Some prostate cancer grows at a faster rate than others; this is more likely to create complications and will require treatment to stop it spreading.

High profile cases

Recent news highlights the importance of being aware and the importance to get tested for the cancer. Gabby Logan’s husband, Kenny Logan, has shared his story on his shock diagnosis of prostate cancer and how he sadly lost a friend to the disease a few years prior. Kenny Logan is not the first man in the public eye to be affected by this cancer.

The recent death of former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull emphasised the need for regular screening after he was diagnosed with the cancer back in 2017. Bill Turnbull put his symptoms down to old age and the cancer was unfortunately incurable when diagnosed. 

He became a Prostate Cancer UK ambassador who campaigned to make the nation aware that prostate cancer was becoming the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK in 2020.

Signs and symptoms 

Although symptoms are rare, the early signs to be aware of include burning or pain during peeing, difficulty peeing or loss of bladder control / the need to urinate more frequently. Prostate cancer that’s contained inside the prostate doesn’t usually cause symptoms so if you're offered a PSA test by your doctor we would encourage you to accept it

Facts and figures

In the UK, about one in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime and is the most common cancer in men. If you're over 50, or you're black or a family member had the disease than you're  at higher risk of developing prostate cancer. However, it can affect men of any age.

Research by Prostate Cancer UK identified the following figures of how prostate cancer is affecting men in the UK;

  • More than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year on average – that's 143 men every day.
  • Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 12,000 men every year.
  • One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • Around 475,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

As we continue to support families nationally, we hope that innovative change is achieved and treatment becomes accessible to men in England and Wales.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise in supporting men and families affected by prostate cancer at our dedicated prostate cancer misdiagnosis section.