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Thursday, 2 March, 2000, 12:08 GMT
1m for prostate cancer research
Prostate cancer affects 20,000 British men each year
Research into prostate cancer, which is expected to effect increasing numbers of men in the next two decades, has received a 1m boost from the government.

Over 10,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year and 20,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, with rates estimated to rise by almost 50% by 2021.

Funding for research into prostate cancer needs to be increased to the level of that for breast cancer

Professor John Waxman
The announcement of extra funding, while welcomed by the Prostate Cancer Charity, was criticised for not going far enough in light of the dramatic rise in cases year on year.

It came as public health minister Yvette Cooper admitted that inequality exists between men's and women's health.

It has previously been estimated that eight times as much is spent on women's health as men's.

Ms Cooper said: "We know that the biggest health inequality that exists is between men and women.

"Prostate cancer is the most mysterious of all the common cancers and we need more information about its treatment and cures. We want to encourage high quality research, particularly into work that will help improve early diagnosis, testing and treatment."

High profile

Though breast and cervical cancer are very high profile, more men died of cancer than women in 1998 - there were 37,150 deaths from cancer in men under 75 compared to 30,387 in women.

Professor John Waxman, chairman of the Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "We're very pleased that ministers have taken a step in the right direction but, without wishing to appear ungrateful, one has to say that 1m will not go very far.

"A million pounds will probably only fund six researchers for three years. Funding for research into prostate cancer needs to be increased to the level of that for breast cancer.

"We also need to be investing much more in preventative measures and educating young men on ways to avoid this killer disease. "

British men have a one in 12 risk of developing prostate cancer during their lives and those with a family history of the disease are particularly at risk.

Warning signs include difficulty or pain when passing urine, the need to pass urine more often, broken sleep due to increased visits to pass urine, waiting for long periods before the urine flows and the feeling that the bladder has not emptied fully.

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17 Nov 98 |  Health
Male cancers 'underfunded'
03 Jun 98 |  Latest News
Men ignorant about growing cancer risk
24 May 99 |  Health
Men 'need more health care'
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