Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Nurses to be key in prostate cancer care

  • Comment
All men with prostate cancer should have access to a urology clinical nurse specialist (CNS), according to latest NICE guidance.

The guidance, which was published last week, highlighted the important role that nurses should play in explaining the complexity of the disease and the treatment options that are available.

NICE’s recommendations focus on empowering men to make well-informed choices by providing them with evidence-based information about the disease – for example, the side-effects of treatment can cause urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Jane Gosling, a guideline development group member and consultant nurse in urology at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, said: ‘Men with prostate cancer have many decisions to make – from diagnosis all the way through the patient journey – and nurses play an important role in this.

‘The guidelines highlight the need for specialist nurses who can bridge the gap between primary and secondary care, and provide valuable advice, support and treatment, particularly in areas that need specialist intervention such as continence and problems with sexual function,’ she added.

However, as highlighted in the government’s Cancer Reform Strategy published last year, there are serious shortfalls in the number of CNSs available to support patients with urological cancers (NT News, 11 December, p2).

Campaigners also warned in November that the NHS needed at least 260 more urological CNSs – more than double the existing number – to improve the care of men with prostate cancer.

Tom Ladds, urology nurse specialist at Manchester Royal Infirmary, said he welcomed the guidelines and the support they gave to having more specialist nurses in the field.

‘Over the last 12 months, anecdotal information from the urology cancer networks is that there are now more urology nurse specialists,’ he added.

‘But whether the additional numbers are enough to allow all patients access [to a specialist nurse] is yet to be seen,’ he said.

NICE has also published guidelines in five other areas:

  • Smoking cessation – advice on the best ways to encourage people to give up smoking and to ensure smoking cessation services are as effective as possible

  • Ways to improve the care and management of osteoarthritis in adults, including recommendations on lifestyle changes and drug treatments

  • Diagnosis, care and management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults, see Update p23

  • Surgical management of otitis media in children under 12, including comprehensive advice on inserting ventilation tubes

  • Recommendations for the use of the drug rituximab for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Full details of the guidelines can be found at

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.