The effect of a Rapid Access Prostate Cancer Clinic on prostate cancer patient and disease characteristics, primary treatment and surgical workload
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In 2009, Rapid Access Prostate Cancer Clinics (RAPC) were introduced to St. James’s Hospital to improve the access and organisation of patients to prostate cancer investigations and treatment.
To observe the effects of the RAPC on prostate cancer diagnosis, primary treatment and overall workload.
Using a prospectively designed patient database, the records of all prostate cancer patients between 2007 and 2011 were retrieved and analysed. Data were obtained for age, PSA, biopsy Gleason score and primary treatment modality and charted for the observation and comparison of trends.
Seven hundred and eighty-nine patients had a new diagnosis of prostate cancer between 2007 and 2011. The median PSA prior to the RAPC was 9.7–13.1 ng/ml, which decreased to 7.79–9 ng/ml after the RAPC. Prior to the RAPC, 77–81 biopsies were performed annually versus 149–271 in the post-RAPC era. Annual requirements for radical prostatectomy also increased from 12 to 27 in the post-RAPC era. Conversely, an initially increasing percentage of patients for radiotherapy was reversed in the post-RAPC period. An increasing trend for higher grade PCa (Gleason score 4 + 4 and higher) was also reversed.
The introduction of a RAPC improves the overall pathological characteristics of patients with prostate cancer. However, RAPCs are also associated with a considerable increase in surgical workload. These are important considerations for units considering the incorporation of a similar facility in their institutions.
KeywordsProstate cancer Screening PSA Active surveillance
The authors would like to acknowledge the St. James’s Hospital Urology Clinical Nurse Specialists Lynn Casey, Marion O’Brien, Sonya Bowen, Tanya Conroy, Angela Doyle as well as the St. James’s Hospital Cancer Audit Programme Manager Suzanne Rowley for their support in this publication.
Conflict of interest
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