Men with suspected prostate cancer are now being seen for diagnostic tests on the same day as their first hospital appointment at a new one-stop shop.
This speeds up their diagnosis by up to two weeks- reducing worry and stress and giving them earlier access to treatment if necessary.
This approach to prostate cancer diagnosis is being taken at Lincoln County Hospital, after an enthusiastic urology nurse specialist agreed to undertake additional training to support the service.
Patients with a raised prostate specific antigen (PSA) level are referred into hospital for further investigation by their GP, as this can be a sign of problems with the prostate. All of these patients should be seen in hospital within two weeks, and at their appointment, an examination will be done and if the doctor believes there could be a problem they will be offered a biopsy of their prostate.
Until now, all patients would be sent away following their examination and given a biopsy appointment at a later date, up to two weeks later, depending upon the availability of the urology consultant.
Now, urology clinical nurse specialist Zina Bojin has been trained to carry out the biopsy, meaning that they can be done on the same day as the consultant appointment for those patients who want to.
“This prevents the patients having to come back to hospital on numerous occasions, and also means that they get the results much more quickly. This ensures treatment can start sooner if necessary, and puts their minds at ease more quickly. Anxiety can really build up over a couple of weeks if you have to wait for the procedure and then the results, and think you may have cancer,” she said.
“I’m very pleased that the urology department has been able to work so well together to set this up, as it has great benefits for our patients as well as for the department itself, as it gets them dealt with more quickly, so we can start treatment with them if necessary.
“It is not suitable for all patients to have their biopsy on the same day, but we have been able to set up one clinic a week in this way, where we can see up to three patients.”
Almost 50 patients have taken advantage of this one stop shop since the service started in June 2016
The clinic is currently held every Wednesday at Lincoln County Hospital. Feedback has been very positive and we are now exploring rolling this same service out to other ULHT hospitals.
Patient Michael Harrison (76) from Owmby by Spital, near Lincoln, used the clinic in October 2016: “The nurse was brilliant. I went for my appointment and didn’t realise that I would be able to have the biopsy on the same day.
“After telling me a bit about the process, they told me I might be able to have the biopsy there and then. As I have to drive for 12 miles to get to Lincoln hospital it was better for me to not have to come back again. I was in agreement that they could do it and it went very smoothly. I was pleased with it.”