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Rise in prostate cancer cases

The number of prostate cancer cases in the UK continues to increase, with the annual total of new incidences rising above 40,000 for the first time.

According to the latest figures from Cancer Research UK, in 2009, 40,800 men were diagnosed - a huge growth since 1989 when the figure stood at 14,000.

The group suggests the increase is mainly due to the introduction of the prostate specific antigen testing programme (PSA), which tests for higher levels of a chemical associated with tumours in the gland.

PSA has seen the prostate cancer incidence rates double from 47.34 to 102.9 per 100,000 men.

However, PSA is unable to differentiate the severity of the cancer and can lead to unnecessary surgery.

Professor Malcolm Mason, Cancer Research UK’s prostate cancer expert, said: "Accurately diagnosing and predicting the need for treatment of prostate cancer is fraught with difficulties and there is no escaping the fact that we need a better tool than PSA."

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Rise in prostate cancer cases
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