According to the National Health Service’s chief executive, hospitals are seeing and treating more men with prostate cancer, thanks partly to celebrities raising awareness of the disease by speaking out about their own experiences. But did you know that the Fry and Turnbull Effect really helped inspire men to get tested?
Two news presenters Bill Turnbull and Stephen Fry were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and urged other men to seek help. It resulted in a 36% increase in patients receiving treatment the following year. This became the Fry and Turnbull effect.
Who is Bill Turnbull and Stephen Fry?
Bill Turnbull, a TV host, and broadcaster, said his decision to make his prostate cancer diagnosis public and encourage men to get tested was the one useful thing he had done in his life.
Bill, 66, died peacefully at home on August 31 after a difficult and dedicated fight against prostate cancer.
The former BBC Breakfast presenter was diagnosed in 2017 after going four years without seeing a doctor. He revealed he had prostate cancer in March 2018, following comedian Stephen Fry’s earlier announcement. Bill and Stephen’s decision to go public influenced other men their age to get screened.
Our findings show a marked increase in the number of prostate cancers diagnosed from the time of Fry’s and Turnbull’s announcements of their own diagnosesNational Disease Registration Service
A debt of gratitude is owed to Bill Turnbull and Stephen Fry for the work they have done to urge men to seek medical advice if they think something isn’t right. The Turnbull and Fry effect could help save lives, This additional investment will help ensure the NHS can manage this jump in demand so that all people with suspected cancer are tested and treated quickly.Simon Stevens, National Health Services
According to the charity Prostate Cancer UK, the disease kills more than 11,500 men in the UK each year. (Source: Chronicle Live)
What is Prostate Cancer?
Men have a walnut-sized gland called the prostate. It is located beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, and its primary function is to produce a thick white fluid that, when mixed with the sperm produced by the testicles, has semen.
Prostate cancer is characterized by uncontrollable cell division and growth, which can spread throughout the body. According to Prostate Cancer UK, one in every eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, making it the most common male cancer in the UK. (Source: Chronicle Live)
What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Symptoms do not typically appear until the cancer has grown large enough to press against the urethra.
Suppose you notice that you must urinate more frequently, wait longer before passing urine, or urinate involuntarily after going to the toilet. In that case, it is a good idea to see a doctor, though Prostate Cancer UK says it is more likely to be a sign of a widespread non-cancerous problem called enlarged prostate or another health problem.
Erectile dysfunction, blood in the urine, weight loss, and any new and unexplained lower back pain are also red flags. (Source: Chronicle Live)
Image from BBC