The number of new diagnoses of prostate cancer across Bradford has jumped by nearly 80 per cent in eight years, figures have revealed.

Latest figures show 212 new cases were diagnosed in the area in 2005 compared with 118 in 1997. Numbers of diagnoses peaked at 221 in 2004.

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the UK, accounting for almost a quarter of male cancers. In 2005, the year for which the latest figures are available, 28,886 new diagnoses were made in England compared with 19,878 in 1997. About 10,000 men die from the disease each year.

Cases are rare in men aged under 50, but it becomes more common as they grow older. And having a father or brother with prostate cancer increases the risk of a man developing the condition, according to experts.

Dr Nagpal Hoysal, public health consultant at Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT, said: "Much of the apparent rise in diagnoses is due to the increased availability of blood tests and treatment of non-cancerous prostate problems, through which cancer is sometimes found by coincidence and is often treatable.

"Over the last few years there has also been increased publicity about prostate cancer, which leads to more men asking for tests, and in turn results in more diagnoses."