East of England Cancer Alliances has created a new web resource called Knowing Your Options, with the aim of supporting prostate cancer patients by setting out their full range of treatment options.
Newly diagnosed patients can enter their personal cancer metrics such as prostate-specific antigen test results into a secure web link; the algorithm then analyses their data and sets out treatment options with benefits and risks tailored to that person.
The Alliance notes that different treatments for prostate cancer can have negative side effects that impact men’s lives in different ways, such as sexual function, urinary incontinence and change in bowel habits, and until recently, the information they receive when receiving a new diagnosis could vary. The new resource allows them to access this information directly, based on current national guideline recommendations, supporting patients to make better informed decisions about their care.
Dr Christopher Scrase, Macmillan clinical lead for cancer in Suffolk and North East Essex, said: “For patients it’s how to arrive at their preferred option with enough information to make a meaningful decision and for the healthcare professional, how to present information in an appropriately comprehensive and understandable way where the messaging is consistent.
“The decision-making tool for prostate cancer which has been pioneered in the East of England Cancer Alliances, integrated into those important shared decision-making conversations, is to be commended. As a vehicle to help with those challenges, I would strongly encourage colleagues to use it in their everyday practice.”
Dr Linda Hunter, associate medical director at Norwich and Norfolk University Hospitals and clinical director for the East of England Cancer Alliance (North), added: “The web tool is configured so that men can look at this with their health care provider in clinics, over the phone or by themselves with family when deciding what to do. They only need to be provided with their basic clinical results to be able to use it online.”
To view the new web resource, click here.