02nd, Mar 2021
New Kingsbridge Clinic Offers £60 Peace of Mind Prostate Cancer Screening Test with One Stop Treatment Pathway.
Around 250 men die from prostate cancer every year in NI.
A new seamless screening service offering immediate access to a £60 ‘peace of mind’ prostate cancer test with results within 48 hours is now on offer at the new Prostate Clinic at Kingsbridge Private Hospitals in Belfast. PSA testing can be one of the earliest markers to identify prostate pathology. This is important because most men present without symptoms.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and accounts for around 250 deaths a year in Northern Ireland.
More than 1,100 local men are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually, with over 9,000 men at any time living with prostate cancer after diagnosis.
There is currently no screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK. Recent results from the European Randomised study of Screening for Prostate Cancer have demonstrated that PSA screening reduced mortality from prostate cancer by 20%. This has led to calls from the European Association of Urology to demand the introduction of routine prostate screening programmes. In countries such as Finland these programmes are already underway.
Most prostate cancers are first found by GPs after screening with a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test, along with assessment of other symptoms.
Mr Anthony McKenna, who heads the development of new clinical services at Kingsbridge Private Hospital (KPH) in Belfast, said: “The majority of men with prostate cancer present with no symptoms at diagnosis, so it is worrying that since January 2020 there has been a 60-70% decrease in urgent red flag referrals from GPs.
“Even before Covid-19, however, fewer than one in four urological cancer patients – compared to nearly half of other cancer patients - were receiving their first cancer treatment in hospital within the Ministerial target of 62 days.
“KPH Belfast is uniquely positioned to offer a one stop service which takes patients from initial GP consult and PSA test, right through to imaging and diagnostics with state-of-the-art biopsy technology and, where necessary, on to revolutionary new procedures such as SpaceOAR hydrogel insertion and brachytherapy treatment. In some cases, patients who are having radiotherapy within the NHS system are also attending Kingsbridge to have gold fiducial markers placed into the prostate, allowing their clinicians to be more precise in directing the radiotherapy beam.
“The important thing is to identify any issues as early as possible, so you can explore your treatment options with some of the leading Consultant Urologists and world-renowned Oncologists, on this island,” said Anthony.
Dr Lisa Neligan, Private GP at KPH explained that treatment depends on individual circumstances - for many men with prostate cancer, no treatment will be necessary.
“We would encourage all men to consider PSA testing even in the absence of symptoms, because a lot of men with prostate cancer don’t have any symptoms, and therefore early detection is key.
“The aim is to cure or control the disease, so it affects everyday life as little as possible and does not shorten life expectancy.
“It is important for men not to ignore urinary symptoms including difficulty passing urine, going to the loo more frequently day or night, or straining to urinate. Blood in the urine should never be ignored.
“However, these symptoms do not necessarily mean prostate cancer – they can simply be a sign of prostatic enlargement, which is not cancer-related, and which is very treatable.
In any case, early screening can offer great peace of mind.” said Dr Neligan.
Caption: Pictured (L-R):
Professor Suneil Jain, Consultant Clinical Oncologist
Mr John McKnight, Consultant Urologist
Dr Aidan Cole, Consultant Clinical Oncologist