Theresa May pledges £75m to boost prostate cancer research
Theresa May will today commit to spending £75m on research into the early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
The Prime Minister is set to outline plans that would see thousands treated “earlier and faster” for the illness, which affects one in eight men and claims 10,000 lives a year.
Under the plans, more than 40,000 men will take part in dozens of prostate cancer studies in the next five years, testing new treatments and programmes offering exercise and dietary advice.
The trials will particularly target higher risk groups including black men, men aged 50 or over and men with a family history of the disease.
Mrs May’s announcement will come as part of a wider meeting with NHS staff in Cambridgeshire to discuss Government plans for the long-term future of the health service.
“Too many people endure the loss of a loved one because cancer diagnosis comes too late in the day,” she said ahead of her visit.
“Our cancer treatments are world class and survival rates are at a record high, but prostate cancer still claims thousands of lives every year.
“I know we can do more. That’s why I am setting out new plans to help thousands of men get treated earlier and faster.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said addressing the signs of prostate cancer in its very early stages was “crucial”.
“The plans announced today will refocus our efforts to develop new treatments and will give men with prostate cancer, and their families, hope of survival,” he said.
“The NHS is a world leader in fighting cancer and survival rates are at record highs but there is still more to do - this research will ensure that many more lives are saved.”
The new research will work with and build on the efforts of charities including Cancer Research UK, Prostate Cancer UK, the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research.
Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, Dr Iain Frame, said the announcement was a “very welcome and positive commitment” from ministers.
“It at last shows recognition of what a huge issue prostate cancer is and the focus needed to stop it being a killer...” he said.
“By working together and pooling our resources we will be able to save more lives more quickly and build a better future for men.”