Prostate Cancer Britain’s Growing Problem

Prostate Cancer Britain’s Growing Problem

Orchid, the UK’s leading charity working with anyone affected by male cancer, has published a new report coinciding with the 10th annual Male Cancer Awareness Week between 9th and 15th April 2018, entitled ‘Prostate Cancer: Britain’s Growing Problem’ The report identifies a concerning pattern showing the late diagnosis of prostate cancer, and urges immediate action to avoid a “ticking time bomb in terms of prostate cancer provision” with respect to the ageing population.

The report has identified the following worrying trends in prostate cancer patients :

  • 23% of prostate cancer diagnoses are made in a hospital’s Accident & Emergency department, mostly when the cancer is at a late stage.
  • 37% of prostate cancer diagnoses are made when the cancer has reached stage 3 or 4.
  • In 42% of cases prostate cancer patients visited their GP with tell tale symptoms on at least two occasions before they were referred for further investigations.
  • In 6% of cases prostate cancer patients visited their GP on at least six occasions before they were referred for further investigations.
  • It is anticipated that prostate cancer cases are set to rise significantly over the next ten years.

The report has also gathered the opinions of leading urology experts on how to improve prostate cancer diagnostics to combat this anticipated rise in prostate cancer rates. For example, Consultant Urological Surgeon Greg Shaw has stated :

“There is an urgent need for better tests to define how aggressive prostate cancer is from the outset, building on diagnostic tests like MRI scans and new biopsy techniques which help to more accurately define the extent of the prostate cancer. This would enable us to counsel patients with more certainty whether the prostate cancer identified is suitable for active surveillance or requires urgent surgery and treatment”.

Fortunately the report also recognises recent advances in prostate cancer treatment and medication, although it has criticised the bureaucratic delays over funding new medications and making them available in practice. A fundamental review has been recommended of the process of how treatments are developed and eventually made available for use.

Furthermore, GP and nursing care has been examined, with inconsistencies in the standard of care provided across the UK being identified. Recommendations have been made for the improvement of guidance for GPs and for an increase in the amount of specialist nurses available to provide support to prostate cancer patients.

Finally, the report campaigns for the government to make prostate cancer a priority in order to implement these recommendations. The Chief Executive of Orchid, Rebecca Porta has stated:

“We want to ensure that prostate cancer receives a proportionate share of voice when it comes to implementing cancer policies and strategies and we … will continue to push for the best possible outcomes for prostate cancer patients now and in the future.”

Wolferstans are fully supportive of the Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week and more information can be found on our website here.

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