Lord Dobbs welcomed news suggesting prostate cancer screening will become available across the UK within the next five years but insisted more should be done to help prevent death. The Conservative peer also insisted more awareness campaigns should be made available as he claimed “men are rubbish” at looking after their own health. Lord Dobbs, who guest-edited the Today programme on Monday, said: “On prostate cancer, I think the way we’ve handled this morning, with all those wonderful guests, we may have saved a good number of lives.
“And for me, that would be a huge benefit.
“Men are rubbish at it and we die of ignorance we die of embarrassment. And nowadays there’s absolutely no reason for that.”
The peer continued: “We are making progress, I want us to make much faster progress not just for me, but for my children.
“My boys, I owe it to them to try and push this forward so they don’t have to go through what my brothers and my father went through.”
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There is currently no national screening programme for the disease, but the Institute of Cancer Research’s Ros Eeles hopes that will change.
The Oncegenetics professor said: “With the advances in genetics and also imaging, particularly MRI.
“Realistically we do need some more data, but we’re probably looking at getting close to a tailored screening programme in the next three to five years.
“We might need to use all of them together… so we can find those who have significant disease.”
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National clinical director for cancer at NHS England Prof Peter Johnson said better treatments had improved survival from the disease, but a screening programme for prostate cancer has proved difficult.
Prof Johnson said: “The reason it is tricky is because they [prostate cancers] tend to grow more slowly.
“The things which are slower, which creep up on you, often produce much less disturbance in the body so it is very important we keep looking and there is a lot of research in this area.”
He also warned the pandemic meant thousands of people who needed treatment had not even been diagnosed.