Men’s Health

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons am ar 23 Ionawr 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Ceidwadwyr, Bexleyheath and Crayford

What steps she is taking to help improve men’s health.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

I assure my right hon. Friend that this Government are committed to improving men’s health. That is why, in November, we announced a suite of measures, including a £16 million fund for a new prostate cancer screening trial, and the recruitment of a men’s health ambassador. We have also launched our men’s health taskforce to tackle the biggest health issues facing men.

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Ceidwadwyr, Bexleyheath and Crayford

I thank the Minister for that answer, and I would urge her to continue to make men’s health a top priority. In particular, can she look at how we can detect prostate cancer better and sooner? It is the most common cause of male cancer in the United Kingdom, and anything that can be done to reduce that number will be most welcome.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

I thank my right hon. Friend and male colleagues on the Government Benches, including my hon. Friend Nick Fletcher, who are fighting so hard to improve men’s health. He is absolutely right: 12,000 men a year die from prostate cancer. That is why we are investing in the £16 million prostate cancer trial called Transform, using methods such as MRI to detect prostate cancer rather than PSA, which can be inaccurate. Thousands of men will be recruited. We are hoping that the trial will start in the spring, with recruitment in the autumn, including the recruitment of black men, who are disproportionately affected by prostate cancer.

Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)

Does the Minister agree, however, that the information she has just given about why screening for prostate cancer does not happen for men is based on a study that is 20 years old? There are 12,000 deaths a year—it is the biggest killer among men, and the second biggest killer among all people—yet here is this evil cancer for which there is no screening programme whatsoever. Will she take steps to update current NHS guidance to ensure that all those at high risk of prostate cancer receive a targeted early detection service? I think she has hinted that she may be doing that, but will she finally introduce mass screening for prostate cancer? It is the only cancer without specifically commissioned early diagnosis work, and men are dying unnecessarily because of the failure to bring this in.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

We have more than hinted: we have just announced a £16 million pilot study of prostate cancer screening. We have a plan to tackle those 12,000 deaths a year, and it will work, because until now we have not had a diagnostic test. PSA is not a sensitive test in all prostate cancers: there are many men with prostate cancer who do not express PSA. That is why the Transform study, using detection tools such as MRI, will be trialled, and if they are effective, such tools will be rolled out across the country.