News

Prostate cancer: charity urges nurses to be vigilant as referrals halve since lockdown

Know risk factors as 27,000 fewer men referred than expected, says Prostate Cancer UK 
Nurse talking to a patient and taking notes

Know risk factors as 27,000 fewer men referred than expected, says Prostate Cancer UK

Nurses should be aware of prostate cancer risk factors among patients, as new statistics show the number of urgent urological cancer referrals in the UK has dropped by almost half.

The figures released by charity Prostate Cancer UK are based on NHS data, and show the number of patients referred with suspected urological cancers, excluding testicular, decreased by 49.5% between April and June 2020 compared with the same period last year.

Up to 3,500 men could be diagnosed too late

Prostate Cancer UK estimates there has been 27,000 fewer patients referred with suspected urological cancers than expected since the UK lockdown began in March, putting potentially 3,500 men with higher-risk cancers in danger of

Know risk factors as 27,000 fewer men referred than expected, says Prostate Cancer UK 


Black men over 50 are particularly ar risk of prostate cancer. Picture: iStock

Nurses should be aware of prostate cancer risk factors among patients, as new statistics show the number of urgent urological cancer referrals in the UK has dropped by almost half.

The figures released by charity Prostate Cancer UK are based on NHS data, and show the number of patients referred with suspected urological cancers, excluding testicular, decreased by 49.5% between April and June 2020 compared with the same period last year. 

Up to 3,500 men could be diagnosed too late

Prostate Cancer UK estimates there has been 27,000 fewer patients referred with suspected urological cancers than expected since the UK lockdown began in March, putting potentially 3,500 men with higher-risk cancers in danger of being diagnosed too late to receive effective treatment.

Prostate Cancer UK specialist nurse Sophie Smith said all nursing staff, especially practice nurses and occupational therapy nurses, should learn the risk factors associated with prostate cancer to help encourage people to speak to their GP.

Risk factors include men over 50, particularly black men, and those with a family history of the disease.

‘If a man is going in for a diabetes check, for example, there’s an opportunity to ask, “Have you thought about your risk of prostate cancer?”,’ Ms Smith said.

Patients should ask GP about a prostate-specific antigen test

Prostate Cancer UK is encouraging all men with increased risk factors to contact their GP to discuss having a prostate-specific antigen test, which can help to detect prostate cancer.

The charity has launched an online risk checker to help men discover whether they are at increased risk of developing the disease.

Healthcare professionals can access information about best practice, resources and support at Prostate Cancer UK’s website.


Further information


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs