BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in British men.
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The increasing use of PSA screening test has resulted in many more patients being diagnosed with this condition. Advances in its treatment have improved the survival rate among these patients. By 2040, the prevalence of prostate cancer survivors is expected to reach 830 000. Many of them will require medical support for the management of their progressive disease or long-term toxicities from previous treatments. Successful implementation of the cancer survivorship programme among these patients depends on a good understanding of their demand on the health care system. The aim of this study is to segment the population of prostate cancer survivors into different needs groups and to quantify them with respect to their phase of care.
METHODS: Incidence, survival, prevalence and mortality data collected and reported by cancer registries across the United Kingdom have been used for the current study to provide indicative estimates as to the number of prostate cancer patients in each phase of the care pathway in a year.
RESULTS: The majority of prostate cancer patients are in the post-treatment monitoring phase. Around a fifth of the patients are either receiving treatment or in the recovery and readjustment phase having completed their treatment in the preceding year. Thirteen percent have not received any anticancer treatment, a further 12% (32 000) have developed metastatic disease and 4% are in the final stage of their lives.
CONCLUSION: On the basis of our estimates, patients undergoing post-treatment monitoring phase will constitute the biggest group among prostate cancer survivors. The pressure to provide adequate follow-up care to these patients will be a challenge. There is limited data available to definitively quantify the number of prostate cancer patients who follow different pathways of care, and we hope this study has highlighted the importance of collecting and reporting of such data to help future health care planning for these patients.
Yip K, McConnell H, Alonzi R, Maher J. Are you the author?
Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, London HA6 2RN, UK; Macmillan Cancer Support, 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ, UK.
Reference: Br J Cancer. 2015 Apr 28;112(9):1594-602.