The numbers being seen are expected to have increased significantly this year with all eight rapid access clinics now open. NCCP director, Dr Susan O’Reilly, said the clinics achieved a diagnosis rate of 41%.
This showed a good service was being provided where GPs refer patients into the system. The data was discussed yesterday at the National Cancer Control Programme Prostate Cancer Quality and Audit Forum at Farmleigh House, Dublin.
Over 3,200 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually and the number is expected to increase over the coming decades as the population ages. The HSE’s national prostate cancer clinical lead, consultant urologist David Galvin, said it was crucial patients had the right options when a diagnosis was made.
Mr Galvin said Irish men who develop prostate cancer had one of the highest death rates from the disease in Europe. He said the rapid access clinics should lead to better outcomes in survival and quality of life. However, in some older patients active surveillance rather than treatment might be recommended.
NCCP interim director Dr Jerome Coffey said uro-oncology would be a priority next year — the focus would be on the further development of services for patients with renal, bladder, penile and testicular cancers.