Medefer and the Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance (SSCA) are collaborating to improve the early diagnosis of prostate cancer. They are supporting NHS providers across the region to deliver a simple blood test identifying prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men; in the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer during their lifetime . Prostate cancer mostly affects men over the age of 50. The risk increases with age, and is higher for black men, and men with a family history of prostate cancer . The cure rate for early-stage prostate cancer is up to 90% , and 5-year survival nearly 100% ; early identification of prostate cancer is key. Currently, there is no national screening programme for prostate cancer, and fewer cases were diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Targeted Prostate Health Checks (TPHC) programme is a new initiative aimed at identifying prostate cancers earlier and more efficiently. Medefer is working with GPs to search their records and invite at-risk men to a new service, to raise awareness about prostate cancer and offer men the choice to have a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Men who receive abnormal test results will undergo further assessment by local urology services to identify those with prostate cancer.
Medefer aims to consent 22,000 men to have a PSA test across Surrey and Sussex by April 2024, with the goal of identifying prostate cancers earlier and addressing the pandemic-related reduction in diagnoses among asymptomatic men who might not otherwise be tested.
The programme introduces a new model to reduce pressures on primary care, improve cancer outcomes, and raise awareness about this common male cancer.
Unity Insights is evaluating the programme to understand its impact on patients and the health system in Surrey and Sussex. The evaluation has been commissioned by SSCA, Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex, and Medefer.