Why did the Department of Health issue advice on the development of LDR brachytherapy services?

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Why did the Department of Health issue advice on the development of LDR brachytherapy services?

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• Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer in men in England. • With an ageing population, an increased public awareness of symptoms and increased use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, it is likely that there will be more cases of prostate cancer picked up at an early stage (localised). • Speed, convenience, favourable toxicity and effectiveness of brachytherapy are leading to increased demand from patients for this form of treatment. • NICE published guidance on low dose-rate brachytherapy for localised prostate cancer (July 2005) recommending that it is safe and efficacious enough for routine use in the NHS. In February 2008 NICE produced a clinical guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer which brought further clarity about the optimum form of management for prostate cancer patients. NICE confirmed that LDR brachytherapy can be offered as a treatment option to low-risk or intermediate-risk men with localised disease. • NICE’s recommendations

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