A LEADING surgeon is renewing a call for men to get a simple life-saving test as figures shows the number of men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in Dorset is worse than the rest of the country.

According to a report from Public Health England’s Urological Cancer Profiles, one in six men in Dorset will be diagnosed with prostate cancer which is 'significantly worse' than the national average of one in eight.

But, leading urologist and robotic surgeon at Dorchester County Hospital (DCH), Dr Naveed Azfal puts the high level of diagnosis in Dorset down to the quality of care available.

“The UK is one of the very few countries in the developed world where there is no screening test available for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer. This is one of the reasons nearly 12,000 men present in the late stages of prostate cancer and die,” he said.

“One in six men in Dorset will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and the reason is we are doing more pro-active things. We have such a great programme which means if you are living in Dorset you have a better chance of being diagnosed early.”

This week Prostate Cancer UK, revealed prostate cancer killed more people than breast cancer for the first time becoming the third deadliest type of cancer in Britain.

Dr Afzal puts this down to a lack of mass screening for men, as with breast cancer, and is urging men to ask their doctor for a simple test which could save their lives.

If caught early, prostate cancer can be treated and cured but, Dr Afzal said many men wait until they have symptoms and a third of patients present in the advanced stages of the disease - which cannot be cured.

“Symptoms like blood in the urine or back pain only happens in the later stages of cancer when it could be in the bones or bladder and at that point, it’s incurable.

“That is why we need to get the message across to men to go to their GP and request a PSA test even without any symptoms,” he said.

A prostate-specific antigen test, or PSA test, involves taking a simple blood sample from the patient.

Unfortunately the test isn’t offered as routine but anyone aged 50 can ask for one and those with a family history of prostate cancer can request one from 40.

“DCH is offering one of the best prostate cancer diagnostic and treatments in the country. Multiparametric MRI, Trans Perineal template biopsies and treatments like Robotic surgery, Brachythery, Radiotherpy and HIFU are all available.

“This means that if you are living in Dorset you have got a better chance of early diagnosis with a complete cure of prostate cancer,” Dr Afzal said.

But Dr Afzal added he believed a ‘macho culture’ stopped men from going to the doctor.

“We need to break down these attitudes and educate men. It’s just a blood test, it takes two minutes and it’s the difference between life and death,” he said.