Health bosses to pilot Doncaster treatment centre for male cancers in a bid to improve survival rates

Health bosses are setting up a pioneering treatment centre for male cancers in a bid to improve survival rates.

The centre, which will be based at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary, will allow patients with suspected prostate cancer to have medical tests fast tracked, rather than having to wait days or weeks.

Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Doncaster Royal Infirmary

It would be the male equivalent of the Jasmine Centre, which offers similar arrangements in the borough for women with suspected breast cancer.

The money for the scheme has been confirmed, and a pilot scheme is expected to start in September.

It is expected to speed up the wait between doctors referrals and treatment, for which the official target is 62 days, In recent years, Doncaster has struggled to reach the target of 85 per cent of patients being seen within that time.

But the 62 day target has been hit for the last five months, since January.

The new cancer centre is expected to improve that further.

Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group chairman, Dr David Crichton, said: "We are still wanting to improve the waiting times further.

"From September, the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Trust is going to roll out a one stop clinic for urology and prostate cancer. Funding has been secured from the regional cancer alliance for a one stop shop clinic at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary, for men with suspected prostate cancer who can be seen, scanned and assessed.

"Previously this would have been done at different appointments over a period of time. But now men will be able to just turn up and it will be done at the same time. The Jasmine Centre offers a similar model for suspected breast cancer.

"Undoubtedly, this is going to be a big help - it is going to shorten the journey for the patent in terms of the time they have to wait for treatment.

"We have reached the 62 day target, but we realise that this still means 15 per cent are waiting more than 62 days. This will help improve that even further."

Monty Cuthbert, from Bessacarr, fought prostate cancer 12 years ago. He said he was pleased to see the new centre brought in. But he said the most important thing was for people to be aware of the symptoms.

The 74-year-yold has set up a charity to campaign on raising awareness of the disease.

"I'm all in favour of the clinic, but that in itself will not lead to people getting checked out quicker," he said.

His posters urge men to see their doctors if they have disturbed nights by needing to go to the loo; if they have difficulty starting; if the flow is weak, or if they have more to come when they have have stopped.