Over 30,000 men in the UK are living with advanced, incurable prostate cancer according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer.
More people are living with prostate cancer than are living with breast, lung and colorectal cancers. There are over a third more people with prostate cancer than with breast or colorectal cancers. According to the study, men with prostate cancer will live for an average of four years after their diagnosis.
The research also found that prostate cancer patients were highly likely to have other long-term conditions. It showed that 84% of men with prostate cancer have at least one comorbidity, which affects quality of life. Approximately 45% of men with prostate cancer have a genitourinary condition such as incontinence, while 19% have a digestive condition such as an anal fistula.
Jane Maher, joint chief medical officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: 'It is welcome news that survival rates are improving, but as people with advanced prostate cancer are living longer with their illness, their needs now resemble those of people with other long-term conditions. The majority of their treatment might be over, but that doesn't mean that they don't need the support of the healthcare system.'
Macmillan is calling for political parties to commit to the improvement of cancer services in their policies for the general election.
Ms Maher added: 'With the ongoing development of a cancer strategy for England and the imminent General Election, this is the time for key decision makers to commit to prioritising cancer care and supporting people living with the disease to lead healthy and fulfilling lives after treatment.'