The BBC has recently featured a report by the UK charity Orchid, which found a “worrying trend” of 37% of prostate cancer cases diagnosed late, at stages three or four. The comparable figure in the US is only 8%.
According to the BBC report, 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 Orchid report, entitled “Prostate Cancer – Britain’s Growing Problem” also found that 23% of cases are diagnosed in hospital Accident & Emergency Departments, the majority of these cases being already at an advanced stage at the time of diagnosis. In addition, the analysis found that 42% of prostate cancer patients had seen their GP about their symptoms twice or more before they were referred (with 6% seen 5 or more times before referral). The report includes a comprehensive analysis of current and future aspects of patient care in the UK:
“Experts in the report point out deficiencies in the current approach to prostate cancer diagnostics. With the debate over the effectiveness of PSA tests still continuing there is a call for a unified, efficient and effective testing programme for those at high risk and those with worrying symptoms. “There is an urgent need for better tests to define how aggressive a 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” says Greg Shaw, Consultant Urological Surgeon at University College London Hospitals.”
The foreword of the report, by Rebecca Porta, Chief Executive of Orchid, concludes: “Prostate cancer cases are set to rise dramatically over the next decade. With added support, a refocus on patient needs and a willingness to accept that prostate cancer will become the UK’s most prevalent cancer, together we can make sure we are skilled and ready to tackle this growing cancer, save lives and deliver better outcomes for men.”
The report also contains Orchid’s recommendations for urgent action by policymakers to address the growing Prostate Cancer problem in the UK.
Original report (PDF):