Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
3:46 PM 9th June 2021

Leeds Men Set To Benefit From Three New Projects To Improve Prostate Cancer Care

Clinicians in Leeds are launching three new initiatives to improve prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and support for men in the local area.

Mr Sean Ralph, Dr Oliver Hulson and Mr William Cross, who all work at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, are three of 22 healthcare professionals chosen to be part of Prostate Cancer UK’s inaugural Clinical Champions programme. Over the next 18 months, the charity will support each Champion to lead a project that will improve prostate cancer care in their local area.

As part of his new Clinical Champion role, Consultant Radiographer Mr Sean Ralph is heading up a project to help preserve men’s sexual function for those undergoing radiotherapy and hormone therapy for prostate cancer by improving access to penile rehabilitation services.

Mr Ralph said:
“Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common side effects of radiotherapy and hormone therapy. Although we have a range of treatments to help men with erection problems, these issues are often ignored, not asked about, or poorly managed within radiotherapy and oncology teams. This can have a devastating effect on men’s relationships and psychological wellbeing.

“Through this project, I want to give oncology health professionals locally and across the UK the confidence, knowledge and skills to better manage the sexual side effects of prostate cancer treatments, so more men can experience a fulfilling and enjoyable sex life.

“As part of the project, I would also like to address the postcode lottery that exists regarding what treatments are available for erection problems and how easy it is to access those treatments that are available in a timely manner.”

In his project, Consultant Radiologist Dr Oliver Hulson will work with colleagues in general practice to address misconceptions around over-diagnosis of prostate cancer and make sure men at higher risk are referred without delay.

He said:
“Improving prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment is my passion. We know that earlier diagnosis leads to better outcomes for men, which is why I’m excited to work with GPs to streamline the referral process and help men in Leeds get diagnosed more quickly.”

The final project will see Consultant Urologist Mr William Cross develop a digital system that will improve the management of men with advanced prostate cancer. The system will combine evidence-based guidelines with real-world clinical data to help clinicians provide the best quality care for these men.

Amy Rylance, Head of Improving Care at Prostate Cancer UK, said:
“Ongoing innovations to prostate cancer services are vital to ensure men can access the highest quality care wherever they are in the UK. That’s why we’re delighted to welcome Sean, Oliver and William to our Clinical Champions programme, and support them as they work to transform prostate cancer care in Leeds.

“We are confident that the skills and expertise they develop over the next 18 months will help them make a real difference to men at many different stages of their prostate cancer journeys.”

Find out more about Prostate Cancer UK’s Clinical Champions programme at