Raising prostate awareness
While there are improvements in the control and detection of cancer, and survival rates continue to improve, there is significant effort needed in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.
There is high community awareness of common cancers and their prevention, the importance of testing and early detection, research funding and early treatment.
I have no doubt the best advocates for raising public awareness of the importance of cancer research, testing and treatment facilities are women.
That is why I was not surprised when Debra Hallmark was appointed the chief executive officer of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre.
The Prostate Centre, opened in 2014, was built with private funding and is a world class men’s centre currently treating 170 patients per week.
As a world first specialist bulk-billing public men’s health clinic, the centre is dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of prostate cancer and related men’s health issues, and provides a one stop shop for men’s health issues below the belt.
As a rural ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia on many campaigns, I suspect prostate cancer is not well recognised by the public or even the government as being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.
One in five men are diagnosed with prostate cancer compared to one in eight women being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Quick diagnosis, reduced waiting times, efficient treatment, good service and early detection will give men better survival rates and reduce the cost burden to government of men presenting with advanced prostate cancer.
I encourage the Andrews Government to financially support the Prostate Centre to help cover the operational costs of its men’s health service.
Raising awareness of prostate cancer and the valuable work of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre is vital to improving men’s health.
Ms Hallmark and her team at the centre are to be congratulated for raising the awareness of men’s health issues and the most prolific of cancers diagnosed in Australia, prostate cancer.
Member for Western Victoria