The Prostate Assessment Centre first launched in 2009 at the Pasqua Hospital. Since then, much work has gone into ensuring men have access to timely, consistent
and appropriate care for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, regardless of where they live in Saskatchewan. The resulting pathway standardizes
care for all patients presenting with signs of prostate cancer to ensure men have access to the same quality of care.
“It is reassuring to see the Regina Prostate Centre use an approach that gives patients and their families the information and support needed for an informed
decision about a treatment option that is right for them, while improving access to specialists when their expertise is needed,” Minister of Health
Jim Reiter said.
The Ministry of Health along with RQHR and the Saskatoon Health Region have worked to develop a standardized referral process that all physicians across
the province will use to refer patients through the pathway for testing and diagnosis.
A recently recruited specially trained Nurse Navigator will provide men and their families with support, from pre-biopsy through diagnosis, treatment and
after care. “The Nurse Navigator will provide education, support and co-ordination of care for men and their families. The resulting streamlined processes
will lead to faster access to treatment options,” said Dr. David McCutcheon, Vice President Physician and Integrated Health Services. “The Nurse Navigator
will also ensure that timely follow-up is completed for each patient as he moves through his chosen treatment plan.”
Urologist-approved guidelines have been put in place to help family physicians and the Nurse Navigator decide if the Prostate Assessment Pathway is best
for their patients, according to existing risk factors. This means family physicians can, in many routine cases, refer directly to the Prostate Assessment
Centre for diagnostics rather than routinely referring to a specialist prior to diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, if the patient’s treatment
choice calls for a specialist, the patient will be referred to one.
September is Prostate Awareness Month. In Saskatchewan last year an estimated 690 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed. Prostate cancer is the most
common cancer among Canadian men. We encourage all men to visit their family physician regularly for assessment, as early detection is key.