Health & Safety

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Spotting Cancer Early Saves Lives

2 February 2013

Leading charity Cancer Research UK has launched a major nationwide campaign on Men's Cancer designed to raise awareness of increasing risks, to reinforce the message that spotting Cancer early saves lives and to highlight that it is only through research that cancer will be beaten.

doctor examining male patient

The research enables medical experts to understand biology of cancer, what drives cancer and how it can be prevented as well as developing new treatments to reduce the number of people who will die from it.

Men's Cancer Risk is Set to Hit 50%

Cancer Research UK released new figures which revealed that Cancer risk among men is increasing and that 50 out of every 100 men will be diagnosed with cancer by 2027, in other words half of all men are likely to have been diagnosed with cancer in 15 years' time. That compares to 44 out of every 100 in 2010.

UK men have a 16% higher risk of cancer than women.

The figures show that diagnosis of men with the disease is increasing - however, Cancer Research UK say that cancer survival has doubled in the last 40 years thanks to detection techniques and improved treatments. So while the risk of being diagnosed with cancer is rising, the overall chance of surviving Cancer is improving.

Age is the biggest risk factor for cancer and the increase in risk is largely due to more people living longer. As our lifespan increases more people will reach an age when they are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer Research UK state that the male cancers set to increase most in the next 15 years include: Prostate Cancer, Bowel Cancer and Skin Cancer (Melanoma).

The ten most common causes of Cancer deaths in males (percentages of all cancer deaths) 2010:

  • Lung 23.5%
  • Prostate, 13%
  • Bowel, 10.6%
  • Oesophagus, 6.2%
  • Pancreas, 4.7%
  • Bladder, 4%
  • Stomach, 3.8%
  • Leukaemia 3.1%
  • Others 25.3%

Research

Prostate Cancer

Experts state that Prostate cancer research is key to providing answers about the disease. As the UK population ages, growing numbers of men will be diagnosed with the disease. Over the last 40 years prostate cancer incidence rates in the UK have tripled, and three-quarters of cases are diagnosed in men aged over 65 years. Through continued research improved tests will be able to be offered to reduce the number of men who die from the disease.

Bowel Cancer

Research has also already led to an improvement in the way bowel cancer is diagnosed and prevented. A 16-year Cancer Research UK trial showed how a one-off flexi-scope test could reduce the number of deaths from bowel cancer by almost half, and the number of new cases by a third, in those who take up the screening test.

Skin Cancer

Research work by Cancer Research UK and others around the world has led to a number of promising new treatments for advanced melanoma Skin Cancer, bringing hope to patients. It is also critical to continue efforts to prevent Skin Cancer as most cases are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and sunbeds.

Spotting Cancer Early Saves Lives

When Cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment is more likely to be successful. Thousands of people are now beating Cancer every year. This is because of better treatments, screening and earlier diagnosis. Thousands more Cancer deaths could be prevented each year if early diagnosis and treatment were improved even further.

So the message to members is, if you notice any unusual or persistent changes in your body, go and see your doctor. You have nothing to lose, but could have everything to gain. If it is something serious, finding it at an early stage and getting treatment started promptly offers a better chance of beating the disease.