Updated guidance for prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment has been released by the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE).
The guidance aims to ensure that men are given information about available treatment options and help in choosing the best option to suit them.
Healthcare professionals should discuss all relevant management problems with men with prostate cancer and their partner or carers, regardless of whether they are available through local services, the new recommendations state.
Active surveillance should be offered as an option to men with low-risk localised prostate cancer for whom radical prostatectomy or radical radiotherapy is suitable.
For men with intermediate and high-risk localised prostate caner, a combination of radical radiotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy should be used, rather than radical radiotherapy or androgen deprivation alone.
And active surveillance should also be considered for men with intermediate-risk localised prostate cancer who do not wish to have immediate radical prostatectomy or radical radiotherapy.
Dr John Graham, consultant lead clinical oncologist at Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust and chair of the Guideline Development Group, said: “All treatments for prostate cancer have serious side effects which can affect the quality of life, especially their effects on erectile function, fertility and continence. This is why it is so important that men are able to understand the treatment options available to them and, with the support of their healthcare professional, are able to make a choice to suit their individual needs, both clinically and related to their quality of life.
“It is important that information and support is available and easily accessible to ensure patients can make the most appropriate decision for them in terms of treatment. This guideline acknowledges that, and makes recommendations about supportive care.”
Over 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in England and wales each year.
It occurs more often in older men, but under 65s can be affected too. Men from of black African-Caribbean descent are three times more likely to develop the disease compared with white Caucasian men.
Nearly 10,000 men still die from the disease every year.
The full guideline is available to view on the NICE website.