Encouraging men to seek up-to-date evidenced-based information from their GPs about screening and treatment of prostate cancer disease and screening for prostate cancer is recommended. The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) has welcomed the release of the results of the Health Select Committee’s inquiry into the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer.
The results were released by Health Select Committee Chair Dr Paul Hutchison earlier today and include recommendations encouraging men to seek up-to-date evidenced-based information from their GPs about screening and treatment; having GPs advise men with a strong family history of prostate cancer of the option of screening from the age of 40; and establishing a quality improvement programme.
RNZCGP President Dr Harry Pert says screening for prostrate cancer has been an issue of concern to general practitioners for some time.
“There is much discussion, debate and disagreement over the value of prostate cancer screening and we welcome the promotion of a more evidence-based approach.
“We are keen to see men encouraged to come in to their general practice to talk about their health generally, not just focus on prostate cancer or cardiovascular screening.”
Dr Pert says it was good to see the inquiry report acknowledge an increase in prostate screening would increase the workloads of GPs and doctors in secondary care, and would require a significant increase in funding.
“We are very happy to see the recommendation to set up a quality improvement programme so that informed decisions relating to the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer can be made.
“The College is looking forward to working with urologists and other stakeholders to improve services for men, so that together we can all better manage this important health concern.”
Dr Pert says the RNZCGP would like to see consumers involved in the development of high-quality men’s health communication materials and other supporting information and tools.
“We look forward to seeing the Government’s response to the report in due course.”
Source: The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, New Zealand