Technology which provides a more accurate scan for advanced prostate cancer is to be introduced in Scotland in a bid to improve detection.
Funded by NHS Scotland, Gallium scanning technology will be provided at four centres across the country – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Tayside, NHS Lothian and NHS Grampian.
The technique allows for a more accurate diagnosis of possible prostate cancer relapse, where cancers spread after initial treatment.
It also allows clinicians to identify exactly where any follow-up tumours are located, ensuring appropriate treatment.
An initial investment of £2 million is to be made in the service, with contracts awarded to allow the procurement of the equipment required.
It is expected to be operational by around next spring.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in Scotland so it’s vital that we ensure that the best treatment is available.
“This equipment will allow clinicians to get quick and accurate information about whether advanced prostate cancer has spread to another part of the body.
“If there is no spread, the patient can be reassured, and if there are additional tumours, the medical team can put the right treatment in place.”
Karen Stalbow, Prostate Cancer UK, said: “It’s great news that men will be able to get PSMA-PET scans on the NHS in Scotland.
“Evidence shows that they are much better than current scans at showing whether a man’s prostate cancer has returned, allowing them to access the right treatments more quickly, saving more men’s lives.”
Dr Roger Staff, of the Scottish Clinical Imaging Network, said: “The introduction of this service represents a marked service development that will significantly improve the management of prostate and neuroendocrine cancer in Scotland.
“This is not only a ‘game changer’ for patients with prostate cancer, but the installation of the infrastructure required will future-proof centres and allow new techniques to be introduced faster.”