Launch of our Reproductive Cancer Toolkit | Bolt Burdon Kemp Launch of our Reproductive Cancer Toolkit | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Launch of our Reproductive Cancer Toolkit

At Bolt Burdon Kemp we all too often see the effect that a late diagnosis of cancer can have.  A late diagnosis of reproductive cancer can happen for a number of reasons.  It may be that symptoms were missed, or were mistaken for a less serious condition.  Knowing what to look out for and where to get help can increase the chance of catching the cancer before it advances and spreads to other parts of the body.

We want to increase early diagnoses by making people more aware of the signs and symptoms of these cancers.  We also believe that there needs to be more public discussion about them to remove the taboo and embarrassment that can stop people from seeking help.

So we’ve teamed up with a number of charities to develop an interactive tool on reproductive cancers.

Male reproductive cancers

The male reproductive system is made up of the testes, penis and prostate gland.   Each organ of the male reproductive system can develop cancer.  The table below shows the estimated number of diagnoses per year for each type of male reproductive cancer in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK.

Type of cancer Average diagnoses
Testicular 2,200
Penile 550
Prostate 41,700


The table shows that the most common male reproductive cancer is prostate cancer.  This is strongly linked to age, and is most likely to occur in a man’s 60’s or 70’s.

Testicular cancer is the second most common male reproductive cancer.  It is unusual in that it is more common at a younger age, and is most likely to occur in a man’s 20th or 30’s.  Fortunately the outlook for testicular cancer is one of the best for all cancers.

Penile cancer is the rarest male reproductive cancer.  Despite this, it is important to remain vigilant about looking for symptoms and to seek medical help if you are concerned.

Female reproductive cancers

The female reproductive system is made up of the internal and external sex organs.  The table below shows the number of diagnoses per year in the UK for each type of female reproductive cancer.

Type of cancer Average diagnoses
Cervical 3,100
Ovarian 7,100
Vaginal 260
Vulval 1,200
Womb 8,500


Some female reproductive cancers are heard about more frequently than others, such as ovarian and cervical cancer.  We want to help increase awareness for all types of female reproductive cancers.

Womb cancer is the most common female reproductive cancer, and the fourth most common cancer in women overall.  It is therefore surprising that the symptoms are far less well known than for other cancers.  Most womb cancer diagnoses occur when a woman is in her 60’s or 70’s.

There is also little awareness of symptoms of vulval cancer. By regularly checking your vulva, symptoms can be spotted at an early stage. Three quarters of incidences of vulval cancer occur in women over 60 years old.

Vaginal cancer is the rarest form of female reproductive cancer.  The symptoms of vaginal cancer can be mistaken for other conditions so it is important that you are aware of the signs.

How does the tool work?

You can use the interactive tool to explore the symptoms of both male and female reproductive cancers.  For each type of cancer, there is information on the symptoms to look out for.  We’ve also teamed up with a number of charities who can offer you specialist support.

It’s incredibly important that men and women are both aware of the symptoms to look out for, so that if any worrying signs develop, you can know how important it is to seek medical help. 

Symptoms are often caused by other more common problems, and it is unlikely to be cancer. But if it is, this will mean that you are diagnosed and treated at the earliest possible point, giving you the greatest chance of the best outcome. 

We wanted to bring together the voices of a number of specialist reproductive cancer charities, who offer invaluable support and advice to patients at a very difficult time in their lives. The tool brings their insight and information on reproductive cancers into one place for the first time, to create a central resource for all.”

View our interactive tool kit.

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