HSE defends cancer services

THE HSE has moved to defend prostate cancer service standards after concerns were raised by the independent Irish Cancer Society (ICS).

In a survey, the ICS advocacy group identified serious problems in support and information services for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The study found that 98% of men surveyed had side effects as a result of their treatment, including urinary, bowel or sexual issues. More than 54% of those surveyed said the loss of libido after treatment was worse than they had expected.

While acknowledging the issues raised, the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) said many of the patients involved were treated a number of years ago, meaning some of the conclusions may be outdated.

“It would not reflect the comprehensive services we now have available across the country,” said NCCP director, Dr Susan O’Reilly, adding that eight rapid access prostate cancer clinics have been set up around the country since January 2009.

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