NHS ‘one stop shop’ for prostate cancer means faster and more accurate diagnosis
The NHS is using cutting edge technology to help slash diagnosis times for prostate cancer from six weeks to one day in a world-leading new approach that virtually eliminates the risk of deadly sepsis.
The new scanning and diagnosis method means a ‘one-stop-shop’ for suspected prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.
The NHS is determined to cut the mortality rate for prostate cancer in the same way that has seen breast cancer rates decline by 10%.
The usual process is an MRI scan followed by a biopsy where around a dozen samples may have to be taken with a needle through the rectum, in order to locate suspect growths on the prostate.
Under the new ‘rapid pathway’ approach, which is being developed in three hospitals across West London, men have a scan, get their results and can have any necessary biopsy, using new FUSION technology, in one day, rather than multiple outpatient visits over four to six weeks.
The approach involves specialist clinical expertise as well as equipment and NHS England is currently looking into how it could be rolled out to other major cancer centres across England.
The new technique uses highly detailed ‘multi-parametric’ MRI – mpMRI – scans, currently being rolled out across the NHS, which provide much higher quality imagery. Between a third and 40% of patients who have an mpMRI scan will find out on the same day that they do not have prostate cancer and can safely avoid having a biopsy. The machines are also able to pick up growths that are much harder to detect.
If a biopsy is needed, the new FUSION machines will overlay ultrasound images with 3D MRI scans to create a highly detailed map of the prostate that can be used to accurately target suspect areas for taking tissue samples. The new system means an area as small as a grain of rice can be hit first time.
This precision allows clinicians to insert the needle through the perineum, rather than the rectum, reducing the risk of infection from between 2% to 6% to around one case in 500.
This new approach is being piloted at Charing Cross Hospital, Epsom Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton by RM Partners, the Cancer Alliance for west London.
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “This is an encouraging breakthrough in prostate cancer diagnosis that is genuinely world-leading. While still early days, the potential benefit to men with suspected cancer is significant.”
Professor Hashim Ahmed, new chair of NHS England’s Clinical Expert Group for Prostate Cancer and Chair of Urology at Imperial College London, has been leading the new approach. He said: “The NHS has led the research that underpins this RAPID pathway to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer. The NHS is now leading the way in ensuring all men get to benefit from this innovation. Fast access to high quality prostate MRI allows many men to avoid invasive biopsies as well as allowing precision biopsy in those men requiring it to find high risk tumours much earlier.”
Latest News from
England’s most senior nurse calls out unacceptable behaviour towards NHS staff31/03/2020 16:15:00
England’s most senior nurse, Ruth May, yesterday spoke on BBC Breakfast, she called for the public to show NHS staff more respect following a number of reports of abuse.
Airline cabin crew to join NHS nightingale carers31/03/2020 09:15:00
The NHS has enlisted easyJet and Virgin Atlantic to work alongside NHS clinicians at new Nightingale hospitals as part of the fight against coronavirus.
NHS volunteer responders: 250,000 target smashed with three quarters of a million committing to volunteer30/03/2020 15:43:00
The number of people committing to join the NHS Covid-19 effort is three times higher than initially targeted, the Royal Voluntary Service yesterday announced.
NHS support via text message for people with symptoms of Covid-1930/03/2020 14:15:00
People staying at home suffering with suspected coronavirus symptoms will get regular check-ins from a new NHS messaging service launched recently (28 March 2020).
NHS to open two more new hospitals to fight coronavirus30/03/2020 12:51:00
Two new NHS Nightingale Hospitals will open in Birmingham and Manchester to provide care to thousands more patients with coronavirus, chief executive Sir Simon Stevens recently (27 March 2020) announced.
Over 400,000 people join NHS army of volunteers in one day26/03/2020 14:15:00
Over 400,000 people have already signed up to volunteer for the NHS to help in its fight against coronavirus.
‘Your NHS Needs You’ – NHS call for volunteer army25/03/2020 15:33:00
The NHS is “rallying the troops” for the war on coronavirus, with volunteers being called up to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home.
New NHS nightingale hospital to fight coronavirus25/03/2020 14:15:00
A new hospital will open to provide support for thousands more patients with coronavirus, NHS England yesterday announced.