Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull may have helped save lives by revealing they were suffering from prostate cancer, the head of NHS England has said.
Former QI host Fry revealed in February that he was recovering from surgery for the disease, while Turnbull announced that he had been diagnosed with an advanced form of it in March.
Fry, 61, urged “men of a certain age” to get themselves tested.
Former BBC Breakfast host Turnbull said the disease had also spread to the bone – putting him in a “dark chasm”.
There were 70,000 visits to the NHS’s prostate cancer advice page in March – a huge increase on the monthly average of around 20,000, NHS England said.
It is the most common form of cancer suffered by men in the UK, and takes more lives than breast cancer.
“The Turnbull and Fry effect could help save lives,” NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said.
Mr Stevens has announced a £10m rise in finding for prostate cancer services following a rise in demand.
Between April and July this year, NHS England said 14,479 patients received treatment for a urological cancer – up 36% on the same period in 2017.
“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,” Mr Stevens added.
“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.”
Fry tweeted that he was “very touched” by My Stevens’ comments.
He added: “But the gratitude should go, and I’m sure Bill Turnbull will agree with me, to the doctors, nurses, radiologists and other health professionals who daily perform miracles for us all.”