Transrectal (TRUS) biopsies can yield inaccuracies in identifying potential cancer cells, while the nature of the procedure brings an increased likelihood of infection. Efforts are underway to phase out the procedure and Trusts are moving to alternative approaches. Over the past two years, the South-West of England has widely adopted the PrecisionPoint Transperineal Access
The waiting list for NHS hospital care in England has reached the highest total since records began in 2007,1 with the number of people waiting for surgery or other procedures rising above 7.2 million. Many of these include cancer patients, as a recent analysis2 from Macmillan Cancer Support reveals that the backlog in cancer treatment in England is set to last until September 2027 – with delays caused by the ongoing disruption from COVID-19 and existing NHS pressures.
However, the backlog is not only associated with patients diagnosed with cancer and now waiting for their treatment. Frequently, patients may put off going to their GP or hospital out of fear of being exposed to COVID-19, or out of an unwillingness to put more demand on NHS resources. Currently, the NHS and Prostate Cancer UK believe that there are approximately 14,000 “missing men”3 in England, who may be unaware that they have prostate cancer, and the concern is that this number is only going to increase
At the time of writing, the current standard practice for prostate cancer is for most men to be offered a transrectal (TRUS) biopsy. Yet, the procedure has a high risk of serious infection, sepsis and bleeding, as well as inaccurate identification of suspected cancer cells. Alternatively, the transperineal or template (TP) biopsy has, in the past, typically only been available to men at greater risk of infection from specific medical conditions and had to be performed under a general anaesthetic, due to the requirement for multiple biopsy punctures. Now, the landscape has changed.
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