40,000 MEN PER YEAR DIAGNOSED WITH PROSTATE CANCER
Cancer Research UK have reported that more than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year although the number of men dying from the disease remains unchanged at about 10,000 a year.
Prior to the new update, the figure most often quoted for diagnoses was 37,000.
Experts say that much of the increase is due to more men having blood tests for the prostate cancer biomarker Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).
PSA testing began in the UK around 1989 and, since then, prostate cancer incidence rates have more than doubled from 47.4 to 102.9 per 100,000 men in the UK population.
However, PSA testing is not used as part of a national screening programme because of doubts about its reliability.
Up to two-thirds of men with high PSA levels may not have prostate cancer and diagnosis of the disease is only confirmed after analysis of biopsy tissue samples. Professor Malcolm Mason, Cancer Research UK's prostate cancer expert, said: "Accurately diagnosing and predicting the need for treatment of prostate cancer is fraught with difficulties and there is no escaping the fact that we need a better tool than PSA to help detect cancers."