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More than half of people with prostate cancer in Yorkshire diagnosed at late stage

More than half of people with prostate cancer in Yorkshire are diagnosed at a late stage when there are fewer treatment options available, according to new analysis by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Recent data shows that men in the region are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer at a late stage than the England average, with 1 in 4 being diagnosed at the latest possible stage.

The charity is calling for more action by the Government to address inequalities in cancer diagnosis, including improving access to scanners and investing in more specialist NHS staff.

Yorkshire Cancer Research
exists so that more people live longer healthier lives, free of cancer. The charity funds vital screening programmes and research trials to detect cancer at the earliest possible opportunity when it’s often easier to treat.

Analysis by the charity has shown that in 2021, 56% of prostate cancers in Yorkshire were diagnosed at a late stage, compared to 50% in England.

The number of prostate cancers diagnosed late in Yorkshire is the highest since current data collection began in 2013.

Improved access to CT and MRI scanners could help speed up the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Finding cancer early saves lives. It’s vital that more is done to make sure men in Yorkshire with prostate cancer are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage.

Greater access to diagnostic tests is urgently needed, and these tests must be made equally available to men in Yorkshire as elsewhere in the country."

Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research

NHS England currently lags behind health services in other countries, such as Canada, France and Germany, in terms of the number of CT and MRI scanners it has per million people, which means fewer scan appointments are available and people often wait longer for a cancer diagnosis.

As well as investing in more equipment, Yorkshire Cancer Research is also urging the Government to do more to address the NHS workforce shortage and commit funding to help increase the number of oncologists and radiologists working in the region.

Dr Scott said: “Diagnosing cancer early depends on having the staff and resources to perform diagnostic tests, and if we are to see more men in the region diagnosed at an earlier stage, it is essential that the Government provides the funding and resources to achieve this.”

Despite the Government’s recently announced NHS Workforce Plan, which includes expanding the number of medical school places, in Yorkshire and the Humber, there is a 17% shortfall in the number of oncologists, and a 33% shortfall in the number of radiologists. This shortage is expected to worsen in coming years.

A lack of trained NHS staff to perform diagnostic tests means there will be more people waiting to be tested for cancer and could result in more lives being lost through late diagnosis.Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Yorkshire, with over 4,000 men diagnosed in 2021.There is currently no screening programme being put in place for prostate cancer.


men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2021

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prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Yorkshire

Symptoms of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer often doesn’t show any symptoms when it is at an early stage, so introducing a screening programme could help find cancers earlier, before symptoms develop and when there are more treatment options available.

Dr Scott added: “More research needs to be done to find the best way to screen men for prostate cancer. The opportunity to be screened needs to be brought to men in Yorkshire, and beyond, as soon as possible."

Symptoms of prostate cancer can include:

  • Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night
  • Needing to rush to the toilet
  • Difficulty in starting to urinate
  • Straining or taking a long time to urinate, or a weak flow
  • A feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied
  • Blood in urine or blood in semen.

Men without symptoms who are at high risk of developing prostate cancer, such as those with a family history, can speak to their GP about accessing regular PSA tests.

Find out more about prostate cancer