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Easing the burden of prostate cancer

Health Industry Hub | September 16, 2019 |

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt launched a ground-breaking position statement on prostate cancer, in a major announcement set to transform the way Australia manages the deadly disease.

The Minister launched the statement prior to PCFA 2019 Parliamentary Big Aussie Barbie, to coincide with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September.

PCFA’s CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, hailed the initiative a gamechanger.

“Every year 1.3 million men worldwide are diagnosed with prostate cancer,” Prof Dunn said.

“Alarmingly, Australia has one of the highest incidence rates internationally, with 1 in every 7 Australian men likely to be diagnosed during their lifetime.

“While survival rates for prostate cancer are high, the diagnosis of prostate cancer is a major life stress that is often followed by challenging treatment-related symptoms and heightened distress.

“Before and after prostate cancer treatment up to one in four men experience anxiety and up to one in five report depression, with an increased risk of suicide.”

To address these challenges, PCFA has released Australia’s first Position Statement on Screening for Distress and Psychosocial Care for Men with Prostate Cancer with the Monograph: A Psychosocial Care Model for Men with Prostate Cancer.

“The ground-breaking position statement and monograph have been developed by PCFA in conjunction with experts from the NHMRC-funded Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship,” Prof Dunn said.

“The launch is the culmination of many years of work with experts across clinical and allied health fields, to improve care and better support men affected by the disease.

“Successive Australian Governments have invested tens of millions towards saving lives and helping more men survive the disease — delivering research breakthroughs, new medicines, and wider access to world-leading treatment.

“This is the next frontier in innovative care. Our goal is not just to defeat prostate cancer, but to restore hope in a future free from both physical and psychological pain.

“Ultimately, this should result in improved awareness of the daily struggles that accompany prostate cancer survivorship, and much greater regard for each man’s right to enjoy a satisfactory quality of life,” he said.

The Position Statement recommends that clinicians and health professionals apply a new comprehensive Model of Care for men affected by prostate cancer, screening men for distress so that psychological and quality of life concerns can be identified and managed.


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