A NEW way of treating prostate cancer patients has been developed in Worcestershire.
A programme developed by a partnership of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Warwick Medical School will provide support tailored to the patient’s specific needs in battling the long-term effects after the disease has been cured.
The Worcestershire Prostate Cancer Survivorship Programme will involve closely monitoring those recovering from the disease while also minimising the impact on their quality of life.
Patients who underwent a radical prostatectomy with an unrecordable prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test two or more years ago or radiotherapy or brachytherapy with a stable PSA three or more years ago are eligible to take part.
Participant’s details will be entered on a database which will produce alerts when there is cause for concern.
Researcher Dr Sanchia Goonewardene said: “Patients require a personalised care plan after treatment.
“It’s not enough to simply provide regular monitoring – there is a need for ongoing support for any other problems they might experience.
“Every patient is different so the best way to approach survivorship care is to give access to a programme that will empower them, with access to health professionals when they need it and the information to help them cope with the medical and indeed the non-medical requirements on a day to day basis.
“A truly holistic care plan needs to give the patient an understanding of how things such as diet, exercise and lifestyle can aid the long term recovery and reduce any side effects that they are having in any aspect of their life.”
Although the Department of Health has pledged £750 million towards improvements in treatment and diagnosis of the disease, investment in care for those recovering remains lacking.