The number of men living with prostate cancer in the UK is predicted to rise from 255,000 to 416,000 in 2020 and 620,000 by 2030.
More than 80% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer can expect to survive for at least five years. Up to 87% of men with prostate cancer may have unmet supportive care needs. Patients regularly cite psychological and sexual issues as the most significant. Poor functional outcomes after treatment such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction have a major impact on quality of life. The traditional model of hospital follow-up fails to deliver optimum patient-centred cancer care. Holistic aspects of care such as psychological needs and factors which may facilitate full rehabilitation of patients back into society may be missed. The key elements of a survivorship programme are: education, intervention, surveillance and co-ordination of care. Interventions which may improve immediate care include: structured holistic needs assessment and care planning, treatment summaries and cancer care reviews, patient education and support events and advice about, and access to, physical activity schemes. Urologists and GPs need to collaborate to establish shared care pathways for prostate cancer patients. Elements of these innovative pathways will include clear follow-up protocols for prostate cancer survivors discharged into the community and rapid access arrangements for patients about whom GPs are concerned.
MacKenzie KR, Aning JJ. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Reference: Practitioner. 2014 Nov;258(1776):27-31, 3.