Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England. According to the data revealed by Public Health England (PHE), in 2018 (latest data available), it overtook breast cancer for the first time.

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This is attributed to the so-called 'Fry and Turnbull effect,' ie more men are getting tested thanks to celebrities, like Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull, raising awareness about the issue. Both
went public in February and March 2018 with their own experiences of prostate cancer. As a result, there was a 250% increase in visits to the NHS website advice page on prostate cancer in March 2018.

As the PHE data show, in 2018, there were 316,680 cancers of any kind diagnosed, of which prostate was the most common type – 49,029 cases (+
7,828 y-o-y), followed by breast (47,476 cases, +1,686 y-o-y), lung and bowel cancers.

There were more cancers diagnosed in 2018 in males than females – 165,228 compared to 151,452, while the number of people aged 65 and over diagnosed with cancer increased 28% between 2008 and 2018, to 206,566.

The full data will be released by PHE in the spring.

Updated PSA Testing Guidance

On 20 January, the PHE Screening has published updated guidance for GPs and well men aged 50 and over about prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer.

The former helps GPs give clear and balanced information to asymptomatic men who ask about the testing. It is noted, however, that GPs should not proactively raise the issue with such patients. The latter is a summary information sheet is for GPs to give to asymptomatic men aged 50 and over who proactively raise the issue of PSA testing. The document includes information about the prostate, prostate cancer, the PSA test and options after the testing.

Image credit: PHE

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prostate cancer, Public Health England Prostate is Now Most Common Cancer