MEN are being “let down” on prostate screening as one third of NHS boards do not offer access to the latest scans, a charity claims.

Prostate Cancer UK said all scans should be available to all men and called for change.

Heather Blake, the charity’s director of support, said: “We have seen incredible progress in the adoption of pre-biopsy mpMRI over the last year, particularly [in] parts of Scotland where its rollout has been prioritised with our support. This groundbreaking diagnostic tool is the biggest leap forward in prostate cancer diagnosis for decades and it is therefore appalling that health officials in some areas are still not seeing this as a priority.

“Every man with suspected prostate cancer deserves the chance of a more accurate diagnosis.”

Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease in men in Scotland.

One in ten are said to be at risk and there has been a nationwide effort to encourage men to learn symptoms and report them early to improve the chance of beating it. These include a sudden urge to urinate and difficulty in beginning to do so, amongst others.

Trials found using new tool multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) before a biopsy could radically boost detection of prostate cancer and cut unnecessary procedures.

The results were in 18 months ago and a Freedom of Information request found that while the level of access in Scotland has risen since autumn 2016, some health board areas still do not offer it – including Forth Valley, Tayside and Dumfries and Galloway – while others, like Borders and Lothian, aren’t offering the checks to all men.

The specialist charity wants all men who could benefit to have access to the “life saving” technique as soon as possible.

It is calling on NHS boards without access to “prioritise the service transformation needed to make pre-biopsy mpMRI available without delay”.

It also wants all boards across the country to “address the variation in the level and quality at which it is being made available”.

David Douglas, prostate cancer clinical lead for the North of Scotland said: “Working in an area that provides mpMRI scans before biopsy, I can see clearly the impact for men.

“Our local results show that pre biopsy mpMRI is more accurate than post biopsy mpMRI. The evidence from large clinical trials clearly shows that pre biopsy mpMRI out performs prostate biopsy alone in detecting significant prostate cancer.

“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in Scotland and the NHS needs to invest in game-changing diagnostic techniques, such as mpMRI, as well as the radiology staff who provide them, if we are to provide an equitable service for men with suspected prostate cancer.”

Douglas went on: “We urge NHS Boards in the worst offending areas to step up and focus their efforts on getting mpMRI before biopsy to men without delay.”