I'm proud to be a co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Prostate Cancer Awareness and hosted a great event with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia in Canberra recently.
THE crucial work of our local prostate cancer specialist nurse will continue thanks to the Coalition Government providing almost $6 million to continue funding for nurses in 15 locations across Australia, including Cairns.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting men, with over 16,000 Australians expected to be diagnosed this year. Although it has a 95 per cent five-year survival rate, more than 3,000 men die from it each year.
A new funding agreement, effective from July this year, will enable the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to continue funding 14 full time nurses through to 2019-20, to support men with prostate cancer.
“Cairns Hospital will be funded through the program so the prostate cancer nurse for our local area can continue their wonderful work,” said Mr Entsch. “This will help to make sure that men with cancer and their families receive the support and information they need.
“As the Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Prostate Cancer Awareness group, I recently hosted an event in Parliament with the PCFA and we heard directly from a prostate cancer specialist nurse about her role, and why it’s so important for locals facing the challenge of prostate cancer to have someone with expert knowledge of what they’re going through.
“I’m really pleased that as a Government, we have been able to ensure this continued support for our local nurse and others across regional Australia.”
The program has been in operation since 2014 and these nurses are on track to assist around 4,000 men and their families by September 2017.
Men diagnosed with prostate cancer often see a range of health care professionals over a length of time, including urologists, general practitioners, radiologists and allied health staff.
“We have seen that the greater coordination of care for other cancers, such as breast cancer, has resulted in better outcomes for patients – both for cancer control and for their psychological well-being,” Mr Entsch said.
“By funding these nurses we can make sure men battling prostate cancer receive the necessary and timely coordinated care they need.”
The nurses will provide:
• vital information, care and support for both patients and their families, as well as health care professionals within a multidisciplinary team;
• improved access to specialists and services;
• coordination of care from diagnosis onwards; and
• continuity of care for patients throughout the entire cancer journey.
A diagnosis of cancer is one of the most confronting health issues anyone can face but the support and compassionate care that prostate cancer nurses provide will be a great help to men as they, and their families, tackle this disease.