National Cancer Control Programme launches update to the National Clinical Guideline for Patients with Prostate Cancer

HSE Press Release:

Thursday, 15th September 2022

Today, (Thursday, 15th September 2022) the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) launches an update to a module of the National Clinical Guideline – Diagnosis and Staging of Patients with Prostate Cancer, which was developed in collaboration with clinicians, patient representatives, and key stakeholders.

The guideline is intended for all healthcare professionals involved in diagnosing, staging and treating patients with prostate cancer. Clinical knowledge and judgment should be used in applying the principles and recommendations contained in this guideline. It is also relevant to those involved in clinical governance, in both primary and secondary care, to help ensure that arrangements are in place to deliver appropriate care for the population covered by this guideline. This guideline is also of interest to patients undergoing investigations for prostate cancer and their families and carers.

 The guideline was co-chaired by Mr David Galvin, Consultant Urologist, Mater Hospital & St Vincent’s University Hospital and Dr Eve O’Toole, Head of the Evidence & Quality Hub, NCCP.

Speaking about the update, Dr Eve O’Toole explains: “We have decided to take a phased approach to updating our National Clinical Guidelines to ensure they are based upon the latest evidence. This guideline integrates the best current research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. It aims to reduce variation in practice and to improve the quality of care delivered to patients”

According to Mr David Galvin: “The updated guideline ensures a comprehensive review of current radiological and diagnostic strategies for patients with prostate cancer. It provides doctors and nurses with the necessary information to achieve excellence in care for these patients. The contributions from patients, nurses and a variety of medical specialists greatly enriched the process and the output from it. Over the last 10 to 15 years the diagnostic, staging and treatments in Ireland have evolved enormously and represent some of the latest advances in prostate cancer care.”

This evidence-based guideline replaces recommendations within the original guideline - Diagnosis, Staging and Treatment of Patients with Prostate Cancer (published in 2015).

The previous and current National Cancer Strategies recommended that the NCCP develop guidelines for cancer care to improve the quality of care delivered to patients. To date, eight national clinical guidelines for cancer have been developed and will continue to be updated over the coming years.

 As reported by NCRI data, the average number of newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer in Ireland (also referred to as incidence), between 2017 and 2019, was 3,869 cases per year (NCRI, 2021). This represents 30% of all invasive cancers for men (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) making prostate cancer the most commonly diagnosed invasive cancer in men in Ireland. Prostate cancer incidence in Ireland is currently the highest in Europe (GLOBOCAN, 2020).

The number of deaths from prostate cancer was 554 per year, during the period 2016-2018. This represents 20.2 deaths per 100,000 populations, attributing to 12% of male cancer deaths (NCRI, 2021). Prostate cancer is the joint second (with colorectal cancer) most common cancer death among males.

Prostate cancer is however a very treatable disease, which is reflected in the increase in survival rates over the last number of decades. Five-year net survival has improved from 61% from 1994-1999 to 94% from 2014-2018 (NCRI, 2021), while ten-year survival is currently approximately 89%. The increase in survival is most likely due to improvements in diagnosis and treatment.

The updated Prostate Cancer guideline is available on the HSE NCCP website.

Last updated on: 15 / 09 / 2022