I am writing in response to the article about robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery (28 August 2015) and the very welcome news of the introduction of such surgery at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for patients in Grampian. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland and NHS projections suggest the incidence will increase significantly over the next ten years.
There are a number of treatments available for it in Scotland including surgery as well as radiotherapy and there is now laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery in many parts of the country and, as the article highlights, robotically assisted surgery is now available in the north-east of Scotland, thanks to the welcome efforts of charity UCAN.
Robot-assisted surgery makes the complex manoeuvres required for keyhole surgery easier to learn and perform, which helps reduce hospital stays, amongst other benefits.
There is also a need to ensure men in the east and west of Scotland who wish for robotically assisted prostate cancer surgery also have access to it.
Prostate Scotland, Scotland’s prostate disease charity, responding to interest from patients and clinicians in the east and west of Scotland, is running the Blue Horizon Robot Appeal to raise the £2.86 million funding for two robots, one each for the east and west of Scotland, which will be given to the NHS for prostate cancer surgery in the two regions and will ensure that all men in Scotland have access to such surgery.
To date more than £2.5m has been raised following a £2m contribution from the Scottish Government and donations from many trusts and donors.
Readers interested in supporting the appeal can find out more at www.prostatescotland.org.uk.