Thursday, 13 March 2008

Prostate cancer postcode lottery exposed

Men face a prostate cancer "postcode lottery", official figures show.

The statistics indicate that men in some areas are two and a half times more likely to die of the disease than those in others.

The number dying each year varies widely across English regions, from 15 to 38 per 100,000 of the male population.

Charities and doctors said on Monday that a quarter of local health care providers had failed to implement guidelines on standards prostate cancer patients can expect from the NHS.

The Prostate Cancer Charter for Action, a coalition of charities and professional bodies, called on the NHS to do more to improve services.

Prof Mike Richards, the Government's national cancer director, said: "Prostate cancer services have improved markedly over the past five years through the introduction of multi-disciplinary teams and the appointment of more specialist nurses."