25/01/2022 | Press releases

New service offered to patients with suspected prostate cancer

Patients with suspected prostate cancer will now benefit from a faster diagnosis following the introduction of joint consultant and nurse-led biopsy service.

The service at Ipswich Hospital will mean patients can be treated as an outpatient and have the faster procedure under a local anaesthetic with “accurate targeting of abnormal areas of the prostate”.

Katie Mowle is a specialist nurse trained to perform prostate biopsies for patients at Ipswich Hospital and has been undertaking traditional trans-rectal biopsies in an independent nurse-led clinic since 2003.

But now the service has changed so the procedure is performed under local anaesthetic. The trans-perineal method allows better and more accurate sampling with reduced risk of infection complications. Originally introduced as a procedure requiring general anaesthetic, the urology team have been able to move this to an outpatient procedure.

Katie said this has also been possible with improved prostate imaging using MRI scanning for men who have been referred with a suspicion of prostate cancer.

The procedure was previously carried out by consultants, but Katie is now trained to perform the biopsies independently.

Katie, urology nurse specialist, said: “I’m so pleased to be able to help patients get the biopsy in a less protracted way and ensure their referral, diagnosis to treatment pathway is much quicker.

“The way I’m able to take a sample for a biopsy means it’s not as invasive as I can use a needle through a more localised area to the prostate, meaning patients can have a local anaesthetic rather than a general anaesthetic and still have a targeted biopsy.

“In 95% of cases I’m able to see them as an outpatient. There are so many benefits – the procedure is 30 minutes as opposed to well over an hour, they don’t have to restrict food that morning and are in and out of the hospital within an hour and a half.”

Katie is one of very few nurses in the country performing this procedure independently after attending training at Guys Hospital in London.

Consultant urological surgeon Robert Brierly, left, with urology nurse specialist Katie Mowle, right

Consultant urological surgeon Robert Brierly, pictured above left with Katie, is a member of the team who usually carries out prostate biopsies.

He said: “This is great for patients. The speed at which we can see people and get an accurate diagnosis is the key to starting early treatment if necessary. We feel this is a real step forward. It provides a better patient experience while ensuring a safe and rapid diagnostic service for patients with suspicion of cancer.”

A nurse-led service is planned for the future at Colchester Hospital too, with the procedure currently performed by an associate specialist.

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