Theresa May announces £75m injection for prostate cancer research

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Damon Green

Theresa May will set out plans to increase funding for prostate cancer research in a bid to get patients "treated earlier and faster".

The prime minister is set to pledge £75m towards clinical trials and alternative treatments to help diagnose the disease early and improve survival rates.

It is hoped 40,000 men will be recruited to trial these new research projects following the cash boost.

The decision comes after a cancer charity revealed that nearly four in 10 prostate cancer cases are diagnosed late.

The new studies will target men who are at a higher risk of the disease, including black men, men over the age of 50 and those with a family history of prostate cancer.

Mrs May will announce the decision during a trip to a hospital in Cambridgeshire on Tuesday.

She is also expected to discuss long-term plans for the NHS following the government's recent announcement that proposals for the health service will be provided later this year.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mrs May said: "Too many people endure the loss of a loved one because cancer diagnosis comes too late in the day"

"Our cancer treatments are world class and survival rates are at a record high, but prostate cancer still claims thousands of lives every year.

"I know we can do more. That's why I am setting out new plans to help thousands of men get treated earlier and faster."

The aim is to increase the speed of diagnosis and treatment. Credit: PA

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

  • needing to urinate more often, especially at night

  • needing to run to the toilet

  • difficulty in starting to urinate

  • weak urine flow or taking a long time while urinating

  • feeling your bladder has not emptied fully

Research by Orchid revealed a "worrying trend" in late diagnoses, with figures of men dying from prostate cancer overtaking female deaths from breast cancer for the first time in the UK.

Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt also commented on the funding increase.

"The NHS is a world leader in fighting cancer and survival rates are at record highs but there is still more to do, this research will ensure that many more lives are saved," he said.

The aim is to increase the speed of diagnosis and treatment. Credit: PA

The move to increase financial support for prostate cancer has also been welcomed by UK charities.

Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, Dr Iain Frame, said: "Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and it is now the third most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK.

"Today's announcement shows a very welcome and positive commitment from the Government to play a key role in getting men the early and accurate diagnosis and treatments for prostate cancer they deserve.

"It at last shows recognition of what a huge issue prostate cancer is and the focus needed to stop it being a killer."

In the UK, around one in every eight men will get prostate cancer during their lives.