Arundel MP meets man with prostate cancer ahead of £75m funding

Nick Herbert with Arundel resident Stephen Nightingale
Nick Herbert with Arundel resident Stephen Nightingale

MP Nick Herbert has welcomed the government’s £75m funding boost to help thousands of men with prostate cancer get treatment earlier and faster.

The Arundel and South Downs MP met a constituent who is living with prostate cancer and is supporting Male Cancer Awareness Week, which ran last week.

Arundel resident Stephen Nightingale visited Mr Herbert in one of his constituency surgeries last month to discuss the need for more screening to prevent this type of cancer and ways to boost research to find a cure.

Mr Herbert was grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about such an important issue.

He said: “I am very grateful to Stephen for taking the time to come and meet me in my surgery in Arundel and to highlight the current statistics for male cancer.

“I was very touched by the fact that although his own battle cannot be won, he wants to campaign for more to be done to help the next generation of men.”

Prostate cancer currently kills one man an hour in the UK, with 11,819 deaths in 2015.

There are no routine screening programmes for men, but there is growing awareness about the disease.

Men are encouraged to be aware of the signs and symptoms and to feel comfortable in asking their GP for tests if they have concerns.

GPs are able to conduct a simple blood test, but this alone is not enough to determine the presence of cancerous cells.

The test can produce a ‘false-positive’ result and is one of the reasons why this form of screening is not offered as routine at the moment.

While survival rates are increasing – men diagnosed today with prostate cancer are 2.5 times more likely to live for ten years or more than they would have done if diagnosed in 1990.

Fore the first time, more men are dying from prostate cancer each year than women are from breast cancer.

This is partly in due to an increasing population and life-span.

Last week Prime Minister Theresa May announced that £75 million will be given to help thousands of men to get treated earlier and faster.

The programme will include the recruitment of 40,000 patients to support the testing of new and more precise treatments.

The cash injection will fund clinical trials researching prostate cancer to improve early diagnosis for the disease and boost survival rates.

Mr Herbert added: “I especially welcome the Government’s announcement this week of additional funding for research to help beat this form of cancer.”

Early diagnosis and lifestyle are also important factors for improving survival rates.

The government’s proposals for a pilot scheme will seek to reduce diagnosis time from six weeks to just a few days.

This will be done by offering patients a single day of tests, to include blood tests and scanning.

Supportive interventions will include specific dietary and exercise advice. 

Prostate Cancer UK is currently leading research with a £2.7 million programme to find a vaccine.