Results of a report released today have shown that the average time it takes for a man to receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer in England is 56 days following referral – far longer than the 28 day target that health officials are working towards and the average 14 day diagnosis period for breast cancer. We look into the reasons behind this dramatic difference and what is being done about it.
At a conference in London this week, Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, announced plans to increase the number of specialists employed by the NHS to improve cancer diagnosis and care. But despite this welcome news, some important staffing shortfalls still need to be addressed.
A report released by the Royal College of Surgeons shows more men are getting an appropriate level of treatment, but issues with late diagnosis persist and uptake of mpMRI has been patchy. However, a pilot scheme also announced today offers a promising step forward.
Plans to rollout mpMRI scans before a first biopsy for all UK men suspected of prostate cancer are under threat, as long-term vacancies and increasing demand put a strain on the NHS's radiology services.
After today's confirmation that mpMRI scans before a biopsy can radically improve the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis, figures reveal that just 32% of eligible men currently have access to the procedure because of a shortage of scanners and qualified staff to use them in the NHS.
BLOG: Today's announcement about mpMRI scans before a biopsy is a game-changer for prostate cancer diagnosis. But without Prostate Cancer UK's funding of a pilot project in 2010 thanks to your donations, this ground-breaking research would never have happened, says Dr Ian Le Guillou.
BLOG: We're only 12 months into our ten-year strategy to tame prostate cancer, but that doesn't mean we haven't already made exciting progress. Our resident expert, Dr Ian Le Guillou, gives us his top ten biggest research breakthroughs (in no particular order) from 2016.
Preliminary results from the PROMIS trial announced in Chicago today show using mpMRI before a biopsy could reduce the number of men having unnecessary invasive tests for prostate cancer.
BLOG: From training up radiologists to working alongside commissioners and the NHS, Dr Sophie Lutter explains how we're making sure the results of the PROMIS trial are rolled out into real-life hospitals as soon as they've been peer-reviewed, and why rushing it could do more harm than good.
BLOG: Sophie Lutter explains what we're doing to improve the availability of PSA testing to men who want or need it and why, on its own, it's still not the answer to creating a national screening programme for prostate cancer.