Disparities in cancer care
Everyone facing a cancer diagnosis should have access to the same quality of treatment and care but currently this is not the case. A postcode lottery of cancer testing and diagnostic tools means that where you live can make a huge difference to your outcomes.
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The latest National Prostate Cancer Audit (NPCA) highlighted that men in more deprived areas are more likely to be diagnosed too late for a cure. Men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with metastatic disease in North Tees and Hartlepool compared to Royal Berkshire.
Reasons for this stark disparity include awareness, diagnostic infrastructure and intense pressure on the NHS.
With the NHS stretched and under pressure, we must support our healthcare professionals so that in turn they have the time and resources to give patients the best possible care and support.
Whilst the data reported on is alarming, it is important to note that the majority of prostate cancer patients were satisfied with the care they received. 94.1% of those in the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey rating their overall care as 7 out of 10 or above and 88.2% felt the whole team looking after them worked well to give them the best possible care.
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Breakthroughs in Research
We’re funding research to make sure that no one has to face poorer outcomes just because of where they live.
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Lucida Medical have developed a software tool called Pi™– Prostate Intelligence™, the world’s first AI software that can automatically analyse prostate MRI scans with expert level performance. The software can find cancer earlier and more accurately provide clear information to patients about the size and location of their tumour and minimise the need for more invasive procedures like biopsies. This has the potential to address expertise and staffing shortages in hospitals to reduce waiting times and extend high-quality diagnosis to everyone.
Professor Daniel Brewer and his team are developing a new way to classify prostate cancer and separate the tigers from the pussycats. This will mean that patients can receive personalised treatments based on the characteristics and behaviour of their individual cancer. Identifying cancers that are unlikely to grow at all can also help to decide if treatment is even needed in the first place. Avoiding unnecessary treatment in slow growing disease means fewer patients will experience life changing side effects and is key to reducing the pressure on the NHS.