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£10 million injection for prostate cancer care
NHS England has recognised the effect that Bill Turnbull and Stephen Fry discussing their prostate cancer diagnosis has had on men seeking medical advice.
Latest NHS figures show that from April to July 2018, 14,479 patients received treatment for a urological cancer – this is an increase of 36 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. Additionally, there were 70,000 visits to the NHS website advice page on prostate cancer in March, a 250 per cent increase from the monthly average of around 20,000.
The surge followed media coverage about the number of people dying as a result of prostate cancer overtaking deaths from breast cancer in February and came as BBC presenter Bill Turnbull and comedian and presenter Stephen Fry revealed that they had the disease.
NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with trusts to help them manage the additional demand and the new £10 million funding will form part of the support package – to be used to increase capacity in areas where support is most needed, for example by extending clinic hours.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “A debt of gratitude is owed to Bill Turnbull and Stephen Fry for the work they have done to urge men to seek medical advice if they think something isn’t right. The Turnbull and Fry effect could help save lives. This additional investment will help ensure the NHS can manage this jump in demand, so that all people with suspected cancer are tested and treated quickly.”