Government invests in prostate cancer treatment

17th April 2018 Clinical Negligence

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that £75 million will be invested into early diagnosis of Prostate Cancer in the hope that men will get treated earlier and faster.

The government's hope is that 40,000 men will be recruited into 60 prostate cancer studies over the next five years. The treatments that are being tested include more precise radiotherapy, high intensity focused ultrasound, cryotherapy, alongside supportive therapies including exercise and dietary advice. The study will target high-risk groups including black men, men over 50 and men with a family history of prostate cancer.

This announcement comes just days after male cancer charity Orchid's Chief Executive warned that Prostate cancer will become 'the most prevalent cancer in the UK within the next 12 years.' A recent BBC news article claimed that four in ten prostate cancer cases are diagnosed late. The BBC stated last week that 42 per cent of prostate cancer patients saw their GP with symptoms twice or more before they were referred, with six per cent seen five or more times prior to referral. This is extremely worrying as late diagnosis of any cancer raises the risks of death and more severe health problems. It can also result in more invasive treatment being required and increases the likelihood of the cancer returning after treatment.

When we represent patients who have suffered a delay in diagnosis in the clinical negligence team at JMW, sometimes describe the healthcare system as a 'lottery". Depending on where the patient lives, the quality of the care they receive can vary greatly. Shockingly, some patients are only treated when their cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This is devastating news for someone who is suffering from an entirely treatable disease. Patients feel they are losing control of their life and will give anything for extra time with loved ones.

Only time will tell if this investment will have a positive impact on patient outcomes and removing the 'lottery' element of cancer care It is definitely a step in the right direction but it is equally as important that GPs recognise that when a patient is visiting twice or more with the same complaint that their symptoms require thorough investigation.

If you or a loved one have suffered a delay in diagnosis of cancer and have been left with problems as a result our team at JMW can help establish if you are entitled to make a claim. Please call us today on 0345 872 6666 to speak to one of our solicitors.

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Dominic Walker is a Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Media Law department

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