Statement on the proportion of men in Scotland whose prostate cancer diagnosis comes too late for a cure
Statement from Prostate Scotland on the proportion of men in Scotland whose prostate cancer diagnosis comes too late for a cure:
‘We are deeply concerned by the number of men in Scotland diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. We have long campaigned for programmes and worked to encourage earlier diagnosis of prostate cancers, as early diagnosis is more likely to lead to successful treatment and cure. These new figures from our colleagues at PCUK add impetus to our call to accelerate progress diagnosing prostate cancer in its earlier stages.
The growing number of treatments for prostate cancer in Scotland over the past few years is encouraging and is a credit to the clinicians whose hard work this represents. Projections of an increase in prostate cancer diagnoses over the next few years, coupled with the impact of the pandemic, means that more needs to be done to ensure earlier diagnosis in a greater proportion of cases.
Six key steps are critical to tackling this situation:
- The Scottish Government’s commitment to early cancer diagnosis is welcome. We urge the Scottish Government in the forthcoming new Cancer Strategy to specifically prioritise steps towards an increase in early diagnosis of prostate cancer at stages where curative treatment is still possible;
- NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government in the Detect Cancer Earlier Initiative should prioritise a reduction in the number and percentage of men in Scotland diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer;
- Reaching out to and targeting men from deprived communities, as well as those from rural areas, as research[i] shows them more at risk of advanced prostate cancer;
- Information should be provided to every man in Scotland from the age of 50, detailing the signs, symptoms and risks associated with prostate cancer, to increase awareness and where appropriate to encourage men to see their GP’s if they have symptoms or are in a high-risk group;
- A screening system for men at high of risk prostate cancer should be introduced;
- And, greater clinical staffing resources should be applied to meet the increasing prostate cancer diagnoses and to help reduce waiting times.
Men diagnosed with prostate cancer now have 84% survival rates. To bring about a sustained increase in diagnosis of prostate cancer before it reaches its advanced stages in Scotland will require a combined effort from government, the NHS and the prostate charities. We look forward to playing our part to help.
We have a track record in taking forward awareness initiatives to encourage early diagnosis. From our research we know the devastating impact that prostate cancer can have on men’s lives. To this end we have developed a series of services to help provide information and support for men throughout their prostate cancer journey’.
12 January 2023