Prostate cancer research cash boost

A leading prostate cancer charity has promised a "new dawn" for men's health as it announced a tripling of research spending.

Prostate Cancer UK launched a major campaign strategy called MANifesto which is aimed at boosting efforts to deliver better forms of diagnosis, treatment and patient support.

The move, backed by composer Lord Lloyd-Webber, follows the organisation's merger last month with another charity, Prostate Action. Their combined resources will triple Prostate Cancer UK's research spending to £25 million over the next three years.

Top priorities will be finding a new and more reliable test for prostate cancer, identifying men most at risk of aggressive disease and developing less invasive treatments.

Funds will also be channelled into developing better and more personalised treatments for patients with advanced disease that has spread. In addition, the charity has vowed to increase spending "significantly" on patient support services, and to improve training and education for health professionals.

Prostate Cancer UK was formerly known as The Prostate Cancer Charity but changed its name earlier this year as part of a re-branding exercise to improve the charity's image. MANifesto also reflects the more dynamic and pro-active approach now being adopted by the organisation.

Charity patron Lord Lloyd-Webber, who has been treated for prostate cancer, said: "For too long men's cancers have played second fiddle to other diseases. I am delighted that Prostate Cancer UK has vowed to do more and effect change from today.

"I know, from experience, how this disease can impact on a man's life. I was happy to stand up and speak out about my diagnosis at the time, and I am proud to be among the first to join the movement for change being led by Prostate Cancer UK."

Owen Sharp, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Prostate cancer has been suffering from a prolonged period of neglect and underinvestment, leaving us decades behind where we need to be. Our plan is, without a doubt, the most ambitious and comprehensive improvement and change initiative in the history of men's health."

Each year almost 41,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 10,700 die from the disease. Prostate cancer is already the most common men's cancer in the UK and is predicted to become the most common cancer overall by 2030.