'Surveillance' to be offered in some prostate cancer cases

Some men with prostate cancer should be offered 'surveillance' rather than treatment, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The new guidance would only affect men at 'low' and 'intermediate' risk.

Guidance calls for 'regular check-ups' for some men

Professor Mark Baker, director of Nice's Centre for Clinical Practice, says that the "surveillance" protocol for men with slow-growing prostate cancer would involve "regular check-ups" instead of "radical treatment".

Prostate cancer can be very slow growing and whilst many men will have a cancer that won't cause them any harm in their lifetime, nearly 10,000 men still die every year in England and Wales.

The updated guideline includes a number of new recommendations on the swift diagnosis and treatment of different stages of the disease and a new protocol for men who choose active surveillance, which involves regular check-ups to see if and how the cancer is developing, rather than radical treatment.

– Professor Mark Baker, nice

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'Surveillance' may be offered in prostate cancer cases

Some men with prostate cancer should be offered "surveillance" rather than treatment, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice).

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men Credit: Bernd Weissbrod/DPA/Press Association Images

Doctors treating sufferers deemed to have "intermediate" or "low" risk prostate cancer should consider offering monitoring rather than radical surgery or radiotherapy, the guidance says.

According to Nice, prostate cancer can be "slow growing" and many men will have cancer that will not cause them any harm in their lifetime.

Meanwhile treatment options, including surgery and radiotherapy, can have "serious side effects", such as erectile dysfunction and fertility and continence problems.

More: What you need to know about prostate cancer

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