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Improvement in Prostate Cancer treatment


Fiona Bruce campaigns for improvement in prostate cancer treatment

Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Fiona Bruce said:

I want to talk about the important progress that needs to be made in the drive to fight prostate cancer Cancer survival rates are now at a record high, and our access to the world’s leading cancer drugs continues to improve. However, there is always more to do, and that is certainly the case with regard to prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It affects one in 10 men, so barely a family in the land will be unaffected. Indeed, my own grandfather died of it. More than 40,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016, and just over 10,000 men die of it each year. It is relatively rare in men under 50, but it gets more common as men get older, and the average age of diagnosis is between 70 and 74, which is often too late. It has been recognised that earlier diagnosis is the key. The Prime Minister and Health Ministers have considered what more can be done on prostate cancer, and they are looking at a range of options for further activity and taking expert advice. It is clear that the strongest chance of health gain lies in more research—particularly research that focuses on early diagnosis—together with innovative new treatments and care for men with prostate cancer.
I am pleased that, just a few days ago, the Prime Minister announced a very welcome £75 million plan to launch new research into prostate cancer. This will build on the already strong portfolio of prostate cancer research being done, and on the considerable investment that is already being put in. I know that the Department of Health and Social Care works closely with Cancer Research UK, Prostate Cancer UK, the Medical Research Council and others via the National Cancer Research Institute, which is a strategic partnership of the major UK funders of cancer research, and that the spending by that partnership on prostate cancer increased from £17 million in 2011-12 to £26 million in 2015-16.
As I say, more needs to be done, and the Government have indeed announced that substantially more will be done to help the thousands of men affected by this disease every year get treated earlier and faster. More than 40,000 patients will be recruited into prostate cancer studies over the next five years. Those studies will include trial testing, keyhole surgery, different types of radiotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound and cryotherapy. Other studies are seeking to identify predisposing hereditary genes, which could help to identify men at high risk, and this will include focusing on men with a family history of prostate cancer and also on black men, one in four of whom will develop the disease. Work will continue on supportive interventions, including exercise and dietary advice, and on the one-stop cancer shops being piloted in 10 areas to catch cancer early and speed up diagnosis, particularly for those suffering with less obvious symptoms. I appreciate the Secretary of State’s announcement that these plans will refocus the Government’s efforts to develop new treatments in this field.”

Responding, Government Health Minister, Stephen Brine, said “Fiona Bruce spoke well about Prostate Cancer, and I was proud that we were able to make that announcement last week”

Speaking after the debate, Fiona Bruce saidOver the almost 8 years I have been MP here, constituents have contacted me concerned about prostate cancer treatment and have been involved in campaigning for improvements and so I was particularly pleased to put on record the Government’s increased investment in this area.”

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