New guidelines to end a 'postcode lottery' in the standard of
treatment and support of men affected by prostate cancer is needed
to end nationwide disparity, The Prostate Cancer Charity says.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of the Charity, will today (Friday
14 October) address assembled delegates at its National Research
Conference to explain why new care standards are necessary to
ensure men receive the same high-quality services - wherever they
live in the UK.
Sharp said: "We are concerned that men with prostate cancer are
yet again being left behind when it comes to receiving the good
quality care they deserve.
"It is extremely disappointing to see that in England the
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is
delaying the development of a quality standard for prostate cancer
until 2014. And, although some progress has been made in
Scotland in the form of draft indicators, these do not go nearly
far enough and miss out vital aspects of care and support -
severely compromising the care that men living in these two nations
"We know from recent research* that a man's experience of
prostate cancer, and the NHS care he receives, varies greatly
across England. And, despite a lack of data, it is likely to assume
that men encounter a similar picture across the UK. This is
not a situation we can sit back and ignore.
"We also know that when guidelines on prostate cancer care have
been delayed it has led to men with the disease reporting a
significantly worse experience of care than men with other common
cancers. We cannot, and must not, repeat the same mistakes."
In an attempt to continue to drive these necessary changes
forward, the Charity will now carry out its own consultation to
identify key standards of quality care from diagnosis, through
treatment and beyond. .
"The Charity, which is known for its campaigning and innovative
services, is taking an active and creative approach. We will work
with politicians, policy makers, health professionals and men and
their families across the country to develop a shared understanding
of what quality prostate cancer care looks like."
Using the two-day research conference, which has drawn
researchers, clinicians and men affected by the disease together,
as a platform, Sharp will also highlight the need to ensure that
the bridge between laboratory to men is a short one - and that
developments in treatments and innovations in service provision
rapidly reach the men they can help.
"Although we can be encouraged by the recent progress made in
the development of new treatments for the disease, such as
abiraterone and cabazitaxel. We need to ensure success in the
laboratory translates into clear benefits for men and their
families affected by this disease. Research starts with the
clinician and the patient. It does not end, even with a developed
drug, but in ensuring these drugs impact upon experience," he
A host of new research was unveiled at the first day of the
well-attended conference, at London's Central Hall in
The Prostate Cancer Charity has invested more than £9.5 million
in research, since its inception in 1996.