THERE could be almost 130 Bolton men living with undiagnosed prostate cancer, a new report has estimated.

Data analysed by town hall health chiefs shows that, between 2011 and 2015, there were 832 observed cases of prostate cancer in the borough — short of the expected number of 959.5.

The area suspected to have the worst rate of diagnosis is Harper Green, where just 54 per cent of expected number of cases are picked up.

Cllr Rees Gibbon, a prostate cancer survivor, is urging more men to get checked with their GP.

The Little Lever and Darcy Lever councillor said: “The problem is mainly down to men being too embarrassed to get checked. It is hard to bite the bullet and say, ‘let’s get a prostate check’.

“It is embarrassing and there is nothing that can be done about that, but it could save your life.”

Cllr Gibbon was 73 when he was diagnosed in 2015 and says his check saved not only his own life, but also his brother’s.

He added: “As soon as people hear the word ‘cancer’, they automatically think that it will end with you in a wooden box. But if it is caught early enough then it can be treated.

“After I had my check, I rang my brother and told him to do the same because it runs in families. He had it too, so my getting checked saved two lives in our family.

“The profile of prostate cancer is getting bigger, but more pressure needs to be put on to make the checks compulsory.

“That will save a lot of hospital beds, a lot of NHS money, and a lot of lives.”

The figures, produced by Public Health England, show that Rumworth, Kearsley, and Farnworth follow Harper Green as the worst-performing wards for prostate cancer diagnosis.

However, there are more diagnosed cases than expected in Horwich and Blackrod, Bromley Cross, and Tonge with the Haulgh. Town hall staff produced a report on the issue after a motion from Cllr Sue Haworth calling for greater awareness of the disease was approved at a full council meeting last year.

In the UK, more than 330,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer. One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Cllr Haworth said: “We need encourage more men and their families to pay more attention to any symptom and get checked by their GP. It is much better to see a doctor and find out if there is a problem, then to leave it until it might be too late.

“We have to use all the tools that we know work to get the message out.

“I am really pleased that First have given free advertising space on buses to help tackle the issue.”