Prostate cancer diagnosis at a record high thanks to campaigns

One year on from the death of Bill Turnbull, Club Insure looks at the ‘Fry-Turnbull’ effect and the rise of prostate cancer referrals.

Awareness of Prostate Cancer Statistics

Data shared by Prostate Cancer UK shows urological cancer referrals in England rose 17%. It now stands at a record-breaking quarter of a million – 262,044 – over only one year. This brilliant increase is thanks to an increase in public awareness for prostate cancer.

Club Insure have been spreading awareness of Prostate Cancer for years, and are proud of this news. See our partnership with Prostate Cancer UK here.

The number of prostate cancer diagnosis was impacted by the pandemic. It’s why Prostate Cancer UK and the NHS launched a ‘Find the 14,000’ campaign in February 2022 to find the thousands of men estimated to have missed a diagnosis. At Club Insure we promoted this campaign.

The campaign contributed to 75,000 people across the UK being treated for urological cancer in the following year – that’s 6,478 more treated than the last.

Sourced from Prostate Cancer UK

The “Fry-Turnbull” Effect

The data also highlights the legacy of Prostate Cancer UK ambassador and presenter Bill Turnbull, who passed away from the disease one year ago today in August 2022. When Bill announced his diagnosis in early 2018, within weeks of Stephen Fry sharing his own diagnosis, it led to an unprecedented spike in referrals, which became known as the ‘Fry-Turnbull’ effect.

The data now shows that urological cancer referrals and treatments also surged in the months following the news of his death. Over 25,000 men were referred in November 2022 – an all-time high, with increased awareness contributing to record-breaking numbers being treated for urological cancer in England.

Meanwhile, over 61,000 people completed the online risk checker in the week following Bill’s death – a 2,500% increase on the previous week.

What is the online risk checker?

The 30-second risk checker aims to help men understand their risk and decide whether a PSA blood test is right for them.

The risk checker has been used by over 1.5 million people since its launch in 2020.


One year on from the passing of Bill Turnbull, Prostate Cancer UK and Club Insure are celebrating the power of awareness to create change, asking the nation to ‘Broadcast it like Bill’ and share its 30-second online risk checker.

The latest data shows the pandemic recovery continuing in England, which reflects the massive efforts from the NHS to tackle the backlog.

There were 20,732 referrals for suspected urological cancer in June this year – a 21% increase on the same month in 2019. While in the same month, there were 6,144 treatments for urological cancer – a 24% increase.

However, there are still some areas of the country lagging behind. Although referrals in London are now 22% above pre-pandemic levels, compared to the national average of 17%, the Midlands remains just 10% above pre-pandemic levels, reflecting a slower recovery and a far lower proportion of men receiving treatment.

Early prostate cancer is very treatable, but doesn’t usually have symptoms, which is why Prostate Cancer UK encourages men to be aware of their risk. This is higher for men over the age of 50, black men or those with a family history of the disease. Men can use Prostate Cancer UK’s online risk checker to find out more.

At Club Insure, we are forwarding Prostate Cancer UK’s message. Please can all clients and readers share Prostate Cancer UK’s 30 second risk checker now – it could save a life!