A BRADFORD medical boss has urged men to discuss their risk of prostate cancer with their GP now - and not wait for symptoms first.

Ray Smith, chief medical officer at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT), made the plea after statistics showed a fifth of patients there with the disease had received their diagnosis late.

Figures from the Prostate Cancer Research charity reveal 19 per cent of people with the condition were diagnosed at an advanced stage at BTHFT in 2022 – more than the average of 17 per cent in England.

There are around 12,000 prostate cancer deaths in the UK every year.

Analysis suggests more than 2,600 lives could be saved across the country if late diagnosis was cut to five per cent - the lowest level achieved by a hospital trust - across the board.

Ray Smith, BTHFT's chief medical officer, told the Telegraph & Argus: "We encourage men to discuss their risk of prostate cancer with their GP and not wait for symptoms, as the presence of symptoms may be late.

"It is well-researched that in cities like Bradford with high levels of deprivation and poverty, patients from lower socio-economic groups and minority ethnic groups - particularly Afro-Caribbean men - often present late and, unfortunately, sometimes at a stage where their cancer is no longer curable.

"This is the main driver for patients presenting with a late diagnosis, not a failure on the part of BTHFT to diagnose the condition.

"These patients also have, on average, more aggressive disease which we think may be caused by a genetic component, and our clinicians are currently conducting research into this."

He added: "As a trust we are actively working with our local communities to encourage earlier presentation, which would lead to better outcomes.

"We were at the Saltaire Festival in September talking about prostate cancer, and we have other community engagement events planned.

"Here in Bradford we pride ourselves in offering a very high-quality prostate cancer service which has seen significant, multi-million pound investment, with the addition of two state-of-the-art Da Vinci surgical robots.

"Most men referred to BTHFT with prostate cancer get seen within two weeks of referral from the GP, have all their tests and scans fast-tracked, and get started on treatment within four weeks of diagnosis."

Laura Kerby, chief executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Unfortunately, early prostate cancer usually doesn't have any symptoms, which is why men need to be aware of their risk and should take our online risk checker to find out more."