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Research Blog

PCFA_OC_Manager
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Over time, I’ve realised this journey is a marathon not a sprint.

I’d be the first to admit, I came out of the blocks a bit hard, abruptly and radically overhauling my diet, exercising like a maniac, meditating like a monk, researching whacky folk remedies and overpriced herbs and supplements, desperate to do all I could to remain fit and healthy.

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If you have prostate cancer and have started (or are about to start) hormone therapy treatment you can now register for a research study that will test the effectiveness of a new supportive care program provided by specialist prostate cancer nurses.

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Prostate cancer is often referred to as a couples’ disease because it impacts the partner of the person with the diagnosis so acutely (if they have a partner).

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PCFA is about to start a review of Australia's guidelines for prostate cancer testing, harnessing our chance to change the way we manage the disease. 

 

Last week we brought together some of the country's leading clinicians to talk about new and emerging treatment options that have vastly improved the way we diagnose and treat prostate cancer. 

 

The vodcast touches on robotic and open prostatectomies, advances in radiotherapy, and the frontlines of research into side-effect management and treatment of erectile dysfunction and incontinence.

 

 

If you have any questions, or need support, call 1800 22 00 99 to speak with a PCFA Telenurse.

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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You’ve probably heard these three words a fair bit in recent years. You might even be sick of hearing them, but you are probably going to have to get used to it.

In the context of cancer care, most would agree the standard of care you receive should not be determined by your bank balance, ethnicity, postcode, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. This has been a hot topic at recent oncology conferences and for good reason.

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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If you’re suffering from financial toxicity, you probably don’t need the concept explained to you...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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What do you think when you hear the term “integrative oncology”?

In my experience, a lot of people are a bit sceptical about the term, imagining it as code for spurious, expensive and alternative cancer treatments...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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Skeletal related events (SREs), also known as symptomatic skeletal events, occur due to bone instability related to the treatment of advanced prostate cancer or due to the spread of prostate cancer to the bone (metastases). This results in localised pain at the site of spread and increased risk of fractures. Metastases to the spinal column can result in a pathological fracture with collapse of the vertebrae leading to spinal cord compression. SREs are associated with increased risk of mortality, pain, and low-quality of life. Symptomatic bone lesions may require radiotherapy or surgical intervention to improve symptoms. Patients may also present with high calcium levels in the blood.

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Greetings from Bali, where your correspondent finds himself enjoying a break from normal transmission, in the splendour of the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival. I’m here to talk about my book Patting The Shark, which you might already be aware documents the perilous path of the prostate cancer patient and my quest for a sensible, middle path through mainstream and evidence-based complementary therapies.

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Those of us on hormone therapy probably don’t need reminding that exercise is one of the best things we can do for ourselves, for its many benefits: improved cardio-vascular health, bone density, muscle mass and mood, all compromised by hormone therapy (Androgen Deprivation Therapy).

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On Wednesday 19 October from 10am to 8pm we’re holding a national call-in day on erectile dysfunction (ED) for men and their partners.

If you want to talk about management and treatment of ED or things such as low libido, shrinkage, body image or just plain frustration with it all, please call us for information and advice.

We’ll have our specially trained Telenursing team on deck to take your calls on 1800 22 00 99.

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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The European Society of Medical Oncology 2022 Conference was hosted in Paris from 9-13 September. Updates from some of the key clinical trials presented at the conference will be discussed in this blog.  

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Everyone responds to a cancer diagnosis differently. Some embrace yoga, meditation and a plant-based diet. Some retreat from the world. Some resolve to suck the marrow from life and chase an audacious bucket list.

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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During the COVID 19 pandemic, particularly the strict lockdowns in Victoria, there was a sharp and dramatic drop in cancer diagnoses. And the sharpest and most dramatic drop of all was for prostate cancer, with a 60% reduction in prostate cancer screening in Victoria.

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This month TENA Men has launched a new washable underwear range to help men impacted by light incontinence in the Wear it with Confidence campaign.

For one week only, from Wednesday September 21 to Tuesday September 27, PCFA friends can get 35% off* the new products using the discount code PCFA at checkout.

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Have you ever felt like you have a story to tell just waiting to get out? Or thought journaling or keeping a diary might be a useful way of processing your experiences? Or just felt like getting something off your chest without burdening those around you with your angst?

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By Tim Baker

There seems to be a great deal of discussion and academic attention being paid to cancer survivorship these days, which is a welcome development...

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By Tim Baker

I went to have my annual skin cancer check the other day. No big deal.

Except as a man on hormone therapy, enduring its emasculating effects and unwanted bodily changes, stripping down to my undies even in the supposedly safe space of a doctor’s surgery can be a little anxiety producing...

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By Tim Baker

As some of you may have detected, it’s been a funny old week for your correspondent.

After labouring over a book, Patting The Shark, for the best part of two years, documenting my journey with metastatic prostate cancer, it was finally released. Like most authors, I felt deeply anxious and insecure about whether anyone would remotely care or take an interest. It turns out I needn’t have worried...

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I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who gave a little cheer when the news broke back recently that PSMA PET scans would now be subsidised by Medicare.

“PCFA advocated strongly for this listing and co-funded the game-changing ProPSMA study which informed the decision – we look forward to seeing this life-saving technology made available to all men who need it,” PCFA’s Chairman, Adjunct Associate Professor Stephen Callister, said....

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In the unlikely event that this has escaped your notice, oncologists are extremely busy people. You probably know the drill. You sit in the waiting room thumbing through trashy magazines or watching the inanity of daytime TV as the revolving door of cancer patients trudge in and out of the oncologist’s office, until your name is called...

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Following a radical prostatectomy there is always a risk that cancer may recur. Certain factors may increase this risk such as high-grade features on the initial biopsy specimen, cancer that may have evaded outside the prostate capsule, micrometastases (cancer that cannot be picked up with any imaging), technical difficulties in surgery or no explanation at all other than the genetic makeup of the cancer in a particular individual which gives it the propensity to grow and invade....

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When I was a kid, our maternal grandmother bought us a book for Christmas called, “Manners Can Be Fun.” To be honest, I think this was a gift to my mum more than us kids.

This bit of shameless parenting propaganda attempted to convince children of the joys of saying please and thank you, letting others go first, eating your vegetables and helping out with household chores. It was spectacularly unsuccessful, at our house at least...

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I was supposed to write this blog post yesterday.

But I was a bit … well, frankly, I was a bit tired. Which, in the ruthless world of freelance journalism, is about as valid an excuse as the proverbial dog eating your homework.

Except, in this case, the client – the delightful folks at the PCFA – have a good understanding of and empathy for cancer-related fatigue (CRF), especially the acutely debilitating kind inflicted by hormone therapy...

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Written by Exercise Physiologist Molly Lowther in collaboration with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA).

Prostate cancer is currently one of the most common cancers in Australia, with 1 in 6 men diagnosed by the age of 851. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be traumatic and life changing for patients. The time immediately after diagnosis has been described as lonely, stressful and frustrating, particularly prior to treatment2. Exercise is now considered a primary treatment throughout the cancer care continuum, and helps men prepare and recover from surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy...

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As you navigate a prostate cancer diagnosis, coming to terms with treatments, side effects, lifestyle changes, the existential dread and angst, it’s easy to overlook one very important element of your cancer care. Bone health...

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It has been shown that between 5-90% of patients will develop some degree of incontinence after a radical prostatectomy. Continence status will continue to evolve for up to 1 year after the surgery and in most patients will resolve after this period. Conservative treatment options should be trialled before proceeding to more invasive treatments, particularly in the early postoperative period, and patients should be followed up regularly to monitor treatment progress. Among the most common conservative treatments are behavioural therapies, pelvic floor muscle training with or without biofeedback, electrical simulation, and pharmacotherapy...

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By Tim Baker

Eighteen months ago, in an act of grand optimism, I began a creative writing PhD, five and a half years after being diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, when I’d been told I could expect five to six years of reasonable health...

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If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis, and are experiencing significant distress, may I suggest you pop down to your local GP and obtain a mental health care plan to see a psychologist? 

If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis and aren’t experiencing significant distress, may I learn the secrets to your superpower? 

Blokes, ay? We like to think we’re pretty tough, but guess what? A cancer diagnosis is tougher. If you don’t find ways to process the stress and anxiety of dealing with cancer, it’ll squirt out sideways and impact the people closest to you...

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Research Blog

PCFA's Research Blog is regularly updated with articles, written in simple language, about recent and topical research in prostate cancer.

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