Prostate cancer patients’ charity Tackle welcomes the publication of the first annual report of National Prostate Cancer Audit (NPCA).
Sandy Tyndale-Biscoe, Chairman of Tackle, said: “We welcome publication of the NPCA’s first annual report, which highlights a view that many prostate cancer patients share, namely that there is great variation in standards of care for this disease, and not all patients are given the “best practice” treatment. I had the privilege to be involved in this work as a member of the Clinical Reference Group and was impressed by the integrity, thoroughness and independence of the team conducting the work, which is of a very high standard.”
The report makes 5 key recommendations, each of which Tackle wholeheartedly supports. These are:
• increase the availability of multi parametric MRI to improve staging and treatment decision making;
• increase the availability of high-dose rate brachytherapy for men with intermediate and high-risk localised or locally advanced prostate cancer;
• improve the availability of personal support services including cancer advisory centres, sexual function and continence advice, and psychological counselling;
• ensure all patients with prostate cancer have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS);
• ensure that patients have access to a joint clinic with a surgeon, an oncologist and a CNS to discuss their treatment options.
“We note that NICE is currently developing a Quality Standard for Prostate Cancer. We strongly urge their Quality Standards Advisory Committee to take notice of these NPCA recommendations which are also reinforced by recent patient led input to NICE on exactly these five topics. Prostate cancer patients need to have their voice heard, otherwise they will have little confidence in any standard that emerges, particularly as there is no patient representation on the committee.
“Although as yet the audit only deals with patients diagnosed with localised or locally advanced disease, it presents real evidence of some of the shortcomings and failures in the health service’s standards of treatment. We look forward to the next stage of the project and urge the project team, as a priority issue, to widen the scope to include treatment of advanced prostate cancer, where there is growing evidence of varied and often unacceptable treatment standards.”
Tackle is the new face for the Prostate Cancer Support Federation’s campaign to support early detection and better treatment options for prostate cancer.