Spire Leeds Hospital is the first private hospital in the region to offer patients a new innovative ultrasound biopsy procedure for prostate cancer testing.
The introduction of TP prostate biopsy (Transperineal biopsy) is helping Spire to lead the way in the early detection and fight against prostate cancer. This new ultrasound equipment is so targeted it can sometimes detect cases that other tests might miss. It also dramatically improves the patient experience and, thanks to new technology, is performed under local, rather than general anaesthetic, allowing patients to attend as a day patient rather than requiring an overnight stay in hospital.
Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, having overtaken breast cancer. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and the numbers are rising with more than 47,500 men diagnosed with the condition every year – that’s 129 men a day. Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s 11,500 a year.*
Mr William (Bill) Cross, consultant urologist at Spire Leeds Hospital said, “Having a TP biopsy at Spire will help ensure early detection of prostate cancer, which is crucial to providing treatment quickly and boosting survival rates. Prostate cancer can be cured when detected and treated early.”
Dr Oliver Hulson, consultant radiologist at Spire Leeds Hospital said there is significant media interest surrounding TP prostate biopsy resulting in patients throughout the region requesting this specific type of biopsy.
“It’s a welcome addition to the services we can offer and will dramatically improve the patient experience. This new procedure is safe and accurate. It’s performed under local anaesthetic in the Radiology Department, so, no general anaesthetic or day case stay is required. The risk of an associated infection is significantly reduced – less than 1% compared with TRUS biopsy (the standard method – Transrectal Ultrasound Guided Biopsy) of up to 5%, which is a huge benefit especially during the current and any future pandemics.”
The test involves an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy that looks for cancer cells in the prostate and takes samples which are later examined under a microscope. The whole procedure from the start to the patient leaving the department is approximately 1hour 20mins.
Retired West Yorkshire GP, Dr Dhirubhai Mistry, 72, who now performs philanthropic work around the world, was one of the first to have the TP biopsy at Spire following a PSA test (Prostate-specific antigen) a blood test, which showed raised levels.
He said, “Overall it was a positive experience. I was looked after by a highly experienced, professional team in a calm environment and felt very reassured throughout. It was quick and I felt no pain other than the equivalent of a pinprick, similar to having a vaccination.” Following the biopsy at Spire, Dr Mistry was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had 20 sessions of radiotherapy and is now cured. “I’m lucky it was caught early and had not spread. The cancer was confined to the prostate gland. I would say to others who might be concerned about having the test; don’t ignore the symptoms and there’s no need to be anxious, the test is for your benefit. Catch it before it can spread.”
The prostate is a gland, usually the size and shape of a walnut that grows bigger as you get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the uretha, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body. The prostate’s main role is to make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.
Mr Cross and Dr Hulson are on a mission to ensure as many men are made aware of this service as possible. Mr Cross said, “Early detection is vitally important. Men, and their partners, need to know about this. Early prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms and therefore if they are concerned about their risk they should discuss this with their GP. Prostate Cancer UK has an excellent online resource for men who are concerned. I would also recommend that all men with urinary symptoms, erectile dysfunction or blood in their urine contact their GP for further investigation and potential onward referral.”
High-profile cases such as TV presenter Bill Turnbull and actor Stephen Fry going public with their prostate cancer have also shone a light on the once taboo subject.
Mr Cross said, “Men are much better informed on prostate cancer diagnostics now, and this is largely down to media reports following celebrity diagnoses and work by Prostate Cancer UK. Those that have read on the subject prior to contacting their GP or post referral are now requesting TP rather than TRUS biopsy.”
Dr Hulson added, “Covid-19 pandemic will have knock-on effects on diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer for some time to come. But as services begin to return to normal, it's important that anyone with concerns about their prostate cancer risk speaks to their GP”