Prostate cancer now most common cancer diagnosis, new figures show

Prostate cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England, provisional official figures show.

There were 49,029 diagnoses of prostate cancer in 2018 – 7,828 more than in the previous year, according to cancer incidence data from Public Health England (PHE).

It means the disease has overtaken breast cancer as the most commonly diagnosed a decade earlier than experts had predicted.

The data also shows that there were more cancers diagnosed in 2018 in males than females – 165,228 versus 151,452. This means an average of 868 invasive cancers were diagnosed each day. 

Just over half (54.0%) of all registrations were either breast, prostate, lung or bowel cancer.

PHE said the increase in registrations of invasive cancers in males was mainly down to the “Fry and Turnbull effect” in prostate cancer. Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull went public with their diagnoses in early 2018, raising awareness in the process.

NHS clinical director for cancer Professor Peter Johnson said: “As people live longer, we’re likely to see prostate cancer diagnosed more often, and with well-known figures like Rod Stewart, Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull all talking openly about their diagnosis, more people will be aware of the risk.

The NHS Long Term Plan is ramping up action to catch tens of thousands more cancers at early stages, and more people coming forward for checks and care means the disease increasingly is detected at an early stage, when treatment is most successful and survival chances are highest.

Source: The Independent