Prostate Care, failing patients

The first national Prostate audit of services says the NHS is failing to deliver the best treatment and diagnosis to thousands of men with prostate cancer. It has shown 'A worryingly vast variation' in access to advanced MRI scanning and the latest radiotherapy techniques. One in four hospitals in England and two in five hospitals in Wales do not have the sophisticated MRI which can better detect cancer and spare men unnecessary surgery.

Half of the men with this disease do not receive all the support services they have in hospitals. Four out of five radiation centres in England do not offer brachytherapy (which uses radioactive seeds planted inside the prostate and can help half of men retain their sex lives. Brachytherapy is recommended for those with high risk cancer and is only provided in 11 of the 54 radiation centres in England. This service is not provided in any centre in Wales.

This is the most common cancer in men. In the UK more than 41,000 are diagnosed each year leading to around 10,000 deaths annually, these survival rates are below Europe averages.