There were 656 new cases of prostate cancer recorded in Cyprus in 2020, up from 550 the previous year.

Between 2016 and 2020, there were an average of 540 new cases recorded in Cyprus per year, with increases on the average noted in 2019 and 2020.

The figures were presented at a press conference called by health minister Popi Kanari to coincide with European prostate cancer awareness day.

At the conference, Kanari said “the peculiarity of this cancer is that it develops very slowly and in the initial stages it shows no symptoms”. She added that the ministry “recognises the importance of preventative examinations”.

She said her ministry is promoting the development of programmes aimed at raising awareness of prostate cancer.

Also speaking at the event was the director of radiotherapeutic oncology and nuclear medicine at the Bank of Cyprus oncology unit, Dr Dimitrios Vomvas. He said, “while prostate cancer remains a major cause of death among men in Europe, the mortality rate is decreasing in many European countries, and this is likely to do with improvements in early diagnosis”.

The oncology unit’s general director also spoke, mentioning “the positive developments of medical science in prevention and early diagnosis”.

He added that the unit “will continue to support patients and their families as it has done for the past 25 years”.

He also stressed the importance of “maintaining a dialogue with society” about the issue and said it is “equally important” that patients speak up and raise awareness of prostate cancer.

In addition, a representative of BD Swiss, a major sponsor of the ‘Blue cycling route’, which aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer, also took to the stage.

He said that the next edition of the event will take place on October 8.

Around one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, mostly over the age of 50.