Prostate Cancer: Screening

Health written question – answered on 20th May 2008.

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Photo of Jon Trickett Jon Trickett Labour, Hemsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects Government-funded trials for prostate cancer screening to report; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health Services), Department of Health

The Government are not currently funding trials for prostate cancer screening. There is currently insufficient evidence from any country in the world to show that screening would reduce deaths from prostate cancer. The Government are committed to introducing a national screening programme for prostate cancer if and when screening and treatment techniques are sufficiently well developed. The UK National Screening Committee keeps screening for prostate cancer under review, and research under way in both Europe and the United States of America is being monitored.

The Department is supporting the development of screening technology for prostate cancer by having a comprehensive research strategy into all aspects of prostate cancer. We are jointly with other National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) members funding two NCRI Prostate Cancer Research Collaboratives, and the Department is funding half of the total £7.4 million cost. In addition, the Department is funding a £20 million trial of treatments for prostate specific antigen screen-detected early prostate cancer, the ProtecT trial and supporting a comparison trial to run alongside it.

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