Leeds woman urges men to check prostate cancer risk as urgent referrals drop by 26 per cent
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There were 600 fewer urgent prostate cancer referrals in Leeds in 2020 than the previous year, a 26 per cent drop, according to new figures from Prostate Cancer UK.
The charity also estimates that more than 8,600 fewer men started treatment for prostate cancer in England in 2020 than in the previous year, a reduction of almost one third.
Prostate Cancer UK has warned these ‘missing men’ could have life-threatening cancer and risk being diagnosed too late to be cured.
Bryony Turner, 29, has urged men to check their risk of the disease using the charity's 30-second risk checker after her dad, Martin, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013.
The cancer was identified during a routine blood test and her grandad had also received treatment for the disease.
Bryony, who lives in Horsforth, said: "It’s so easy to think a symptom is ‘just something else’ and to brush it off and not investigate it further.
"Especially at the moment when GPs aren’t carrying out appointments as normal, things can easily be missed.
"The risk checker would be useful as it would also help to highlight what sort of things people should be looking for, so they can detect any underlying issues earlier themselves."
After three years of treatment, Martin was given the all clear - but tragically died years later after falling off a ladder and suffering a stroke.
Bryony has since ran a lone marathon in memory of her dad, raising more than £2,500 for Prostate Cancer UK.
She added: "He never mentioned any side effects or feeling poorly, although I don’t feel like that’s something he would have shared - he wouldn’t have wanted us to worry.
"In his true typical self, he just cracked on with treatment with no complaints. He didn’t have a single day off work. He was always so concerned about everybody else and making sure they were alright.”
Unlike other cancers, early prostate cancer often has no symptoms.
Those most at risk are men over 50, black men over 45, and men with a family history of prostate cancer.
Anyone experiencing symptoms, such as difficulty when urinating, should speak to a doctor to get checked.
Angela Culhane, Chief Executive at Prostate Cancer UK said: “Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, but until these missing men are found and referrals begin to rise, many more men could be diagnosed when it is too late for them to be cured.
“Detecting cancer earlier helps save lives, but sadly prostate cancer doesn’t have a screening programme, and most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any symptoms.
"That’s why we want men to be informed about their risk, which is higher if you are over 50, black or if your father or brother had the disease.
“You can find out more by taking our online risk checker, or speaking to your GP about your risk.”