Prostate warning

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Despite numerous and welcomed improvements to cancer care and treatment over recent years, cancer death figures published this week show the scale of the challenge that continues to lie ahead (your report, 26 
November).

The newly published statistics for prostate cancer show particularly stark increases in men dying from the disease, up from 560 in 1987 to 881 in 2012 – an increase of 57 per cent over 25 years. By way of comparison, total cancer deaths increased by just 8 per cent over the same period.

The figures show that prostate cancer – the most common cancer in men – is increasing at an alarming rate, and to such an extent that it will be the most common cancer overall by 2030.

We cannot wish this away. There needs to be significant increase in awareness of prostate cancer, as well as support and advice for men who have the disease or are at an increased risk of it. Prostate Cancer UK will be at the forefront of this battle.

In reacting to the new figures the health secretary is correct to highlight the importance of detecting cancer early. However, for as long as the government continues to exclude prostate cancer from its flagship Detect Cancer Early programme, it is difficult to understand in what way men with this terrible disease stand to benefit from this initiative now or at any point in the future.

Drew Lindon

Prostate Cancer UK

Brand Street

Glasgow

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