The fantastic work of the urology team at Queen’s Hospital Burton will be showcased to cancer clinicians from across the UK at a national conference taking place next week.
Miss Jyoti Shah, Macmillan Consultant Urological Surgeon, has also been chosen to chair the Macmillan Professionals Conference and Excellence Awards from 2 – 3 November, which will be a hybrid event combining in-person and virtual attendees.
Miss Shah, who is based at our Burton hospital, said the opportunity to chair such a prestigious event was a real honour:
“To be chosen out of the 11,000 Macmillan professionals up and down the country to be the chair of this event is very exciting and humbling. I’m really looking forward to it.”
As well as chairing the event, Miss Shah will be presenting three informative posters regarding her ongoing work with Sarah Minns, Macmillan Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioner, into treating and diagnosing prostate cancer – in particular around the rising number of patients who are presenting with later stage cancers as a result of the pandemic.
Increasing numbers of men are presenting at hospitals with raised levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels than is considered normal – a key indicator of prostate cancer. This later diagnosis and commencement of treatment is a concern for cancer patients nationally.
Miss Shah continued: “As a Trust, we have diagnosed around 39% fewer urological cancers than was anticipated by this time, which is a real concern. The pandemic has presented many problems, and we have seen a large decrease in the number of patients we’re seeing because fewer patients are acting on their symptoms, so I want emphasise how important it is for anyone not to ignore any possible signs and symptoms of cancer.”
“We’re seeing patients attending our hospitals with PSA levels that far surpass what is considered to be within the normal range. Because of the effects of Covid-19, we are concerned that men are ignoring their symptoms or have not been for a prostate blood test and could potentially be living with cancer without even knowing it.”
Miss Shah and Sarah run a prostate cancer screening service in their own time, and have screened almost 3,000 men since the scheme’s inception in 2016. Covid-19 has prevented the clinics from taking place, but Miss Shah remains hopeful that these can continue once more in the near future.
She said: “Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men, so we’re hoping to get back out into the communities as soon as we can to provide this service and help more men get the treatment they need as soon as they need it.
“The sooner we can diagnose prostate cancer, or any cancer in fact, the better the outcomes can be. Prostate cancer in particular is an entirely treatable form of cancer so it’s vital to continue to seek help.”
Anyone who is worried about prostate cancer symptoms should speak to their GP at the earliest possible opportunity.