Four in 10 prostate cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed late, a study suggests. The report by charity Orchid found a “worrying trend” of late diagnosis with 37% of prostate cancer cases diagnosed at stages three and four.The report found one in four cases of prostate cancer was diagnosed in A&E. In February figures showed the number of men dying from prostate cancer had overtaken female deaths from breast cancer for the first time in the UK.
With an aging population, the charity has called for urgent action to prevent a “ticking time bomb in terms of prostate cancer provision”. Orchid chief executive Rebecca Porta said: “With prostate cancer due to be the most prevalent cancer in the UK within the next 12 years, we are facing a potential crisis in terms of diagnostics, treatment and patient care. Urgent action needs to be taken now.”
The report canvassed the opinion of the UK’s leading prostate cancer experts and looked at previously published data to get a picture of the prostate cancer care across the UK. The data came from organisations such as NHS England, charities and the National Prostate Cancer Audit. The report says that 42% of prostate cancer patients saw their GP with symptoms twice or more before they were referred, with 6% seen five or more times prior to referral.
Prof Frank Chinegwundoh, a urological surgeon at Bart’s Health NHS Trust said: “25% of prostate cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed at an advanced stage. “This compares to just 8% in the US where there is greater public awareness of prostate cancer and greater screening,” he added.
He said while there was controversy over the effectiveness of the standard PSA test used to detect the cancer, “it is still vital that patients are diagnosed early to assess if they need treatment or not as advanced prostate cancer is incurable”. The report also said there needed to be renewed efforts to develop better testing methods. —Courtesy: BBC health