Australia has one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world. Picture: iStock
Australia has one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world. Picture: iStock

Prostate cancer kills 11 men annually in Mackay

PROSTATE cancer and the lack of sufficient support is killing men in Australia and in the Mackay region.

“Each year in the Mackay region 140 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11 men will die of the disease ­before their time,” Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia chief executive Professor Jeff Dunn said.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed a gap in access to tele-nursing for tens of thousands of men living with ­prostate cancer, prompting Australia’s peak body to launch an emergency tax-time appeal for a new nationwide service.

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“It’s imperative that all men and their families have access to the expert care and support of a specialist nurse at all ­stages of their prostate cancer diagnosis,” Prof Dunn said.

“Prostate cancer can be a cruel and confronting disease, with lifelong side effects and impacts on quality of life.

“With community support, our hope is that no man in the Mackay region will have to walk the journey alone and that’s why this new service is so vital.

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“Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, our prostate cancer specialist nurses have been flooded with calls for advice and support from men with prostate cancer and their families.”

About 13,000 Australian men and families lack access to specialist prostate cancer ­nursing support, a number set to grow if no action is taken.

“We simply don’t have enough nurses to meet demand,” Prof Dunn said.

“By 2040 we predict there will be 372,000 men living with or beyond prostate cancer in Australia, representing a 76 per cent increase from 211,000 today and the greatest number of men or women diagnosed with any single cancer.

Without investment in a new tele-nursing service to reach those in need, many thousands of men will be denied access to specialist support.”

Australia has one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world, with one in every six Australian men likely to be diagnosed by age 85.


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