Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Streets Of London: The Rise Of Prostrate Cancer

Streets Of London with Malcolm Aitken

The Rise, And Rise, Of Prostrate Cancer

Prostate cancer may soon overtake lung cancer as the most common form of the disease among British men it was announced on Monday by experts. They are calling for funding into testing for different prostate tumors and better co-ordination of research. Malcolm Aitken reports.

A steady rise in British prostate cancer cases since 1971, means figures are likely to exceed those for lung cancer by 2006, according to the Institute of Cancer Research, in London. Every year in Britain an estimated 9500 men die from prostate cancer and 22 000 cases are diagnosed. Moreover, a British man has a 1 in 13 lifetime risk of developing it, says charity the Prostate Cancer Charity. The rising number of prostate cases is largely attributed to increased detection through the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, but the test’s shortcomings are indicative of the difficulties with tackling prostate cancer.

‘Prostate cancer is different from most other cancers because at least 70 percent of it does not need treatment. The tragedy is that we have no way of telling which cases will be aggressive and therefore need treating and which will not’ says David Dearnaley, the Institute’s male cancer expert.

‘The side effects of treatment can be very severe on some men [impotence and incontinence] so we only want to treat those who will develop the life-threatening form of the disease. What this means is that many men could receive treatment who may not need it.’ Alternatively men needing treatment can die because it’s not clear they have the aggressive form of the cancer.

The UK Government has said every man over 50 is entitled to a PSA test, which measures blood levels of a protein that tend to rise when the prostate gland enlarges. Complicating matters furthers however, the prostate can also enlarge and these levels rise with non-cancerous conditions, such as the very common benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A biopsy is required to confirm cancer.

In June the Institute is launching a publicity campaign to encourage men and their partners to be more open about prostate and testicular cancers.

Britain’s lung cancer figures for men also keep decreasing as fewer men smoke.

The common warning signs for prostate problems including cancer and BPH are: difficulty or pain when urinating, the need to urinate more often, broken sleep because of increased toilet visits, waiting for long periods before the urine flows and a feeling the bladder has not completely emptied. Scoop readers interested in finding out more about prostate conditions can visit or telephone the Prostate Awareness Support Society (PASS) NZ national helpline on 0800 62 72 77.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation The South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster
The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector... More>>


Jan Rivers: The New Zealanders Involved In Brexit

There are a number who have strong connections to New Zealand making significant running on either side of the contested and divisive decision to leave the European Union. More>>

Rawiri Taonui: The Rise, Fall And Future Of The Independent Māori Parties

Earlier this month the Māori Party and Mana Movement reflected on the shock loss of their last parliamentary seat in this year’s election. It is timely to consider their future. More>>

Don Rennie: Is It Time To Take ACC Back To First Principles?

The word “investing” has played a major part in the operations of the ACC since 1998... More>>

Using Scoop Professionally? Introducing ScoopPro

ScoopPro is a new offering aimed at ensuring professional users get the most out of Scoop and support us to continue improving it so that Scoop continues to exist as a public service for all New Zealanders. More>>