Prostate cancer in Scotland: an evolutionary journey By Karen Walker, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Edi

Prostate cancer remains the most common male cancer in Scotland, accounting for more than 20% of all cancers diagnosed in men. It is the largest cause of male cancer deaths. Although the number of cases per year of prostate cancer has largely stayed the same in the past decade, survival rates are improving, particularly where diagnosis is early. The development of new technologies and treatments has undoubtedly contributed to improvements in outcomes. Alongside this, the ability to redesign pathways in line with technological advances, patients’ needs and consumer expectations has become another critical success factor.

This has certainly been the case at Edinburgh Cancer Centre, where prostate cancer pathways have evolved considerably since our brachytherapy service was first introduced in 2001. Our infrastructure has been significantly bolstered; increased patient demand has meant the multidisciplinary team has more than doubled in size while our collaboration across disciplines and specialties has greatly improved. The latter is crucial; the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer touches multiple clinica