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Call for improved prostate testing as cancer cases missed

Monday April 9th, 2018

Urgent action is needed to find an effective way of screening for prostate cancer, campaigners and specialists say today.

More than a third of patients with the disease are diagnosed at late stages – in spite of the availability of PSA testing, according to the charity Orchid.

It found that 42% of patients presented to a GP at least twice before being referred for treatment. Some 6% of patients made at least five visits.

And 23% of patients are diagnosed through emergency department visits, it found.

The charity acknowledges that PSA screening is controversial - but calls for a “unified, efficient and effective” testing programme for those with symptoms.

Senior urologists backed the charity.

Greg Shaw, from University College London Hospitals, said: “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.”

And Professor Frank Chinegwundoh, from Bart’s Health, said: “The reality is that it takes 17 years from innovation to treatments being available in practice and we need a top down approach to change this and speed up the process, as well as for consultants to be more open to change, to maximise patient outcomes sooner.”

Tags: Cancer | Men's Health | NHS | UK News

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