Scientists warn prostate cancer messaging could hinder early detection | Science & Technology News

Scientists warn that the public health message around prostate cancer is misleadingly focused on urinary symptoms and could hinder early detection efforts.

The University of Cambridge researchers said there was “no evidence of a causal link between prostate cancer and prostate size or unpleasant urinary symptoms in men”.

However, public health guidance frequently promotes this link, with an increasing need to urinate on the list of symptoms of prostate cancer given out on the NHS website.

In a review published in the journal BMC Medicine, researchers suggest that urinary symptoms in men who are “strongly perceived” as a key marker of prostate cancer “can seriously hinder important efforts to encourage early appearance”.

“If earlier diagnosis rates are to be improved, we call for a clear message that prostate cancer is a silent disease, especially in its curable stages, and that men should proceed.” tested regardless of whether they have symptoms or not,” the newspaper wrote.

“This should be done in tandem with other ongoing efforts to raise awareness including targeting men most at risk due to racial origin or family history.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. More than 52,000 men are diagnosed with the condition each year and there are more than 12,000 deaths, according to Cancer Research UK.

More than three-quarters (78%) of men diagnosed with the disease survive for more than 10 years, but that proportion has remained largely unchanged over the past decade in the UK – mainly because the disease is detected at a similar stage. for late.

In the UK, almost half of all prostate cancers are detected at stage 3/4.

Vincent Gnanapragasam, professor of urology at the University of Cambridge, said: ‘When most people think of symptoms of prostate cancer, they think of problems with urination or having to urinate more often, especially especially at night.

“This misconception has spanned decades, despite little evidence, and it potentially prevents us from detecting cases at an early stage.”

Although prostate enlargement that can cause urinary problems is often included in the public health message, evidence suggests it is relatively rare due to prostate tumors, the researchers said. malignancy, the researchers said.

Instead, research shows that the prostate is smaller in prostate cancer cases.

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