Men With Prostate Cancer Are Being Diagnosed Late And Suffering A Preventable Death Because ‘GPs Don’t Take Them Seriously’, Damning Figures Suggest
- Most men with prostate cancer had to see their GP multiple times to be diagnosed
- Only a third of men with prostate cancer saw their GP within three months.
Men with prostate cancer are being diagnosed late and suffering preventable deaths because they have to fight to be taken seriously by doctors, damning figures suggest.
They typically wait longer than other patients before seeking help with symptoms, and then have to return to their GP multiple times before getting a diagnosis.
According to the NHS National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, many are not sensitively told they have the disease or struggle to communicate with healthcare workers for support during treatment.
The survey of 59,352 patients shows that only one in three (35.1%) with prostate cancer visited their GP within three months of first thinking something was wrong, compared with 53 .8 percent of those with breast cancer and 46 percent of all cancers.
While 70 percent of breast cancer patients only had to see their GP once before a diagnosis, this plummeted to 46.1 percent of men with prostate cancer.
Only one in three men with prostate cancer saw their GP within three months of first thinking something was wrong (File photo: A doctor with a stethoscope)
One in 20 men with prostate tumors came back five or more times before they knew they had the disease, the data reveals.
The Daily Mail has relaunched our End Unnecessary Prostate Death campaign in a bid to improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
Early diagnosis is key to survival, as only a third of men live five years or more once the cancer has spread outside the prostate.
The patient experience survey shows that only 70 percent of prostate cancer patients received their diagnosis “definitely” sensitively and only 78 percent “fully” understood what they were told.
Both results were higher for patients with breast cancer.
Oliver Kemp, chief executive of Prostate Cancer Research, said: “Too many men have to fight to be taken seriously by their doctors and screened for prostate cancer, leading to late diagnoses and preventable deaths.”
‘Patients are often unaware that they have the right to be tested if they have symptoms and we hear many stories of doctors who look down on patients who turn out to have prostate cancer.
“Even once diagnosed, many men don’t feel fully informed, increasing their fears and uncertainty.
“The high death rate from prostate cancer can only be addressed if we end the stigma around this terrible disease and make it easier for men to raise their concerns with their GP.”
He added: “It’s crucial that doctors have empathy and understanding when talking to someone about a cancer diagnosis.”
Most men with prostate cancer had to see their GP more than once before getting a diagnosis (File photo: A patient in a consultation)
The Daily Mail has fought for nearly 25 years to raise the profile of prostate cancer, a disease that claims a man’s life every 45 minutes in Britain.
More than 52,000 men are diagnosed with the disease each year, 1,000 each week, making it the most common cancer among men and second overall.
For 10,000 of these, the cancer is stage 4, meaning it has already spread.
An NHS spokesperson said: ‘In 2021, the 5,300 men with prostate cancer who completed our national survey rated their experience of care 8.8 out of 10.
‘It is testament to the dedication of NHS staff that they continue to use the insights gained from the survey to improve the service they offer.
“Record numbers of people are being screened for cancer, including prostate cancer, and as always, if people have concerns, they should raise them.”