Thousands of men to participate in UK trial for prostate cancer

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Prostate cancer is responsible for 12,000 deaths every year in the UK

The UK government and Prostate Cancer UK have announced a £42m screening trial to detect prostate cancer in hundreds of thousands of men across the UK.

The TRANSFORM trial will use innovative screening methods, such as MRI scans, to detect prostate cancer in men before their cancer spread and save lives.

In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men and is responsible for around 12,000 deaths every year.

Every year, around 52,000 men are diagnosed with the condition in the UK, one in four being black men who have a much higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

The trial will assure that new screening methods will provide more accurate results than the current standard blood tests, which can miss some cancers or incorrectly diagnose prostate cancer.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2024 with recruitment set to occur in autumn, hundreds of thousands of men aged 50 to 75 years, are set to participate in the UK trial, including one in ten black male participants aged 45 to 75 years.

The government will invest £16m through the National Institute for Health and Care Research and Prostate Cancer UK will provide a further £26m in funding for the trial.

Health and social care secretary, Victoria Atkins, hopes that the funding “will help to save the lives of thousands more men through advanced screening methods that can catch prostate cancer as early as possible”.

Laura Kerby, chief executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said that the TRANSFORM trial “will finally give us the answers we need to develop a routine testing system and save thousands of men each year”.

NHS England is also set to carry out several improvements to men’s health pages online and the government aims to appoint its first ever Men’s Health Ambassador.

So far, 127 community diagnostic centres have been opened to provide checks outside of hospitals for conditions including cancer and have delivered over five million additional tests.

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