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"Prostate cancer"

About: Belfast City Hospital / Clinical and Medical Oncology East Belfast The Ulster Hospital / Theatres / Recovery

(as the patient),

In my annual blood test results my GP noted an elevated PSA level and he referred me to the Ulster Hospital. It took 3 months to get an appointment with the Consultant who instructed a biopsy to be carried out. 

In the following months several PSA tests were carried out as well as the biopsy but it was 1 year from the GP referral that the consultant confirmed that there was Stage 1 Prostate cancer. They declined treatment (other than for better urine flow) and said they would do 'active surveillance'. My GP also referred to this  approach as 'watchful waiting'. 
I refer to this approach and both these statements as doing nothing until matters get worse. So much for early treatment of cancer !
At various reviews thereafter the Consultant (and a colleague whom I dismissed) were left in no doubt that I was not happy with my lack of treatment. A TRUS biopsy confirmed that the cancer was now at Stage 2.  I was referred to another Consultant at the Hospital for one session and they understood my irritation. Following discussions about alternative treatments they referred me to the cancer centre at the Belfast City Hospital.  
The consultant and the staff at the cancer unit were excellent and after further investigations that ruled out Brachytherapy due to an enlarged prostate, I underwent a course of hormone therapy plus radio therapy. 
The follow-up monitoring has been satisfactory as it only involves checking the PSA level every 6 months together with a telephone consultation with a specialist nurse.
From the initial GP referral to having hospital treatment took 3 years 4 months during which time the cancer moved from Stage 1 to Stage 2.
(Note this is all pre Covid 19)


Response from Conor Campbell, Safe and Effective Care Senior Manager, Safe & Effective Care, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust last week
Conor Campbell
Safe and Effective Care Senior Manager, Safe & Effective Care,
South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust

Assurance and improvement

Submitted on 11/06/2021 at 15:41
Published on Care Opinion at 15:41

picture of Conor Campbell

Dear Another Unhappy Pensioner

Thank you for sharing your experience story.

I apologise for the wait that you have experienced and the associated stress whilst your condition is open to progression in advance of receipt of treatment.

If you wish to do so, please call me on 07715801634 to discuss in order that I may have your individual case reviewed for appropriate consideration and action and also to learn from your experience in order to influence future practice.

Again, I apologise for the wait experienced and the associated negative elements that go along with that.

Best wishes


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Response from Edel Aughey, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust 5 days ago
Edel Aughey
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Submitted on 14/06/2021 at 18:43
Published on Care Opinion on 15/06/2021 at 09:42

Dear another unhappy pensioner,

Thank you for sharing this positive feedback about your experience in the Cancer Centre. I will share with the team. I am very pleased to hear that your radiotherapy treatment has finished and that your follow up is going well. I will pass on your comments about your experience leading up to treatment with colleagues in South Eastern Trust. They will no doubt be in touch in due course.

Many thanks again.

Edel Aughey

Assistant Service Manager

Oncology Outpatients

Northern Ireland Cancer Centre.

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