Australia’s first National Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Service
Melbourne, Thursday 3rd May 2012: Fragmented and piecemeal care for Australian men diagnosed with prostate cancer is set to become a thing of the past with the launch of Australia’s first national Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program today.
The Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program being launched by Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) – with the generous support of The Movember Foundation - will offer the thousands of men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year with accessible specialist nursing care through the entire cycle of treatment – from immediately after diagnosis through to post treatment support.
The new service will deliver 13 Specialist Nurses to metropolitan and regional hospitals in the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT.
According to Max Shub, a prostate cancer patient, the new program will certainly help to alleviate some of uncertainty that follows a diagnosis.
“When you receive a prostate cancer diagnosis, your world turns upside down. Thousands of questions fill your head and you really do need someone other than your specialist to help you answer these questions. Thinking back to when I was first diagnosed, it would have been fantastic to have had access to a specialist nurse and I’m very grateful that there is now a program in place to provide men like me with more support,” said Mr Shub.
Each nurse will work with the patient’s medical team to provide ongoing support to diagnosed men and their families. Part of the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse’s role will be to assist patients in understanding their diagnosis and treatment plan, coordinating their care and access relevant services.
The Movember Foundation is contributing $3.9 million to PCFA to secure the program and recruit its first nurses.
Julie Sykes, PCFA’s National Manager for the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program, says the service will deliver a new level of care that has been difficult for diagnosed men to access until now.
“Some men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer have found it difficult to access a vital element of care - that is structured contact with a healthcare professional who can guide them through every stage of their prostate cancer journey. These nurses have been specially chosen and trained to fill that role,” said Mrs Sykes.
Jason Hincks, Movember’s COO, says The Movember Foundation is proud to have been part of the program’s development.
“This program demonstrates the tangible benefits that come from Movember for Australian men and families affected by prostate cancer. PCFA and Movember both look forward to seeing the program grow in the future,” said Mr Hincks.
The Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses are meeting in Melbourne for their initial training and orientation from 3rd May 2012. They will then continue their work through their host hospitals
Qantas has also come on board to provide ongoing sponsorship to the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program in the form of travel assistance for the nurses who are involved in the program to attend training.
Each year in Australia, close to 3,300 men die of prostate cancer - equal to the number of women who die from breast cancer annually – and around 20,000 new cases are diagnosed every year[i].
For further information about the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing program or to see which hospitals are hosting specialist nurses, visit www.prostate.org.au or call 1800 22 00 99.
For all media enquiries related to the launch of the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program, please contact:
0402 307 056
[i]Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Cancer in Australia: An overview, 2008. AIHW Cat.no. CAN 42.