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Research Blog

PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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By Kalli Spencer

Treatment decision regret

Decision regret has been defined as a negative emotion involving distress or remorse following a decision and can result when the outcome of a decision is compared with the likely outcome of an unchosen alternative1. This blog will refer to those originally diagnosed with localised prostate cancer who are often presented with several treatment options...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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Written by Bernie Riley, PCFA General Manager of Supportive Care Programs

If you have incontinence and need continence products, you might be eligible to a government subsidy known as the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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By Tim Baker

When I was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer seven years ago, one of the most difficult, immediate concerns was how to talk to our kids about it...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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By Tim Baker

An onco-psychologist and a surf writer walk into a library.

It sounds like the setup to a bad joke, but in reality, it’s just another day on the book promo trail. I was hugely honoured to be joined at the Brisbane Square Library on Saturday  by the one and only Prof Suzanne Chambers AO, this country’s pre-eminent authority on prostate cancer survivorship, who literally wrote the text book on the topic (“Facing The Tiger,” Australian academic Press, 2020)...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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By Tim Baker

When people occasionally ask me who my favourite interviewee has been over 35+ years of surf journalism, I don’t even have to think about it.

Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz was in his late ‘80s when I was treated to an audience with surfing’s most revered medico in the plush foyer of the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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Urinary incontinence significantly compromises heath-related quality of life and when conservative measures fail can be improved by surgical treatment. This includes the male sling (bulbar urethral sling), and the artificial urinary sphincter (AUS). These procedures prevent involuntary urinary loss by increasing resistance to flow at the bladder exit (bladder neck)...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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Close readers of this blog and, indeed, the PCFA website, may have picked up on the carefully guarded secret that I have written a book about my experience living with prostate cancer and its treatment...

 

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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In the grand, time-honoured tradition of “those that don’t do, teach,” please allow me to impart what I know about maintaining sexual function during prostate cancer treatment, a mission I have failed at spectacularly myself...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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Written by Exercise Physiologists Malek El-Hassan and Andrew Rivellese, in collaboration with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA).

After a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer (PCa), you may be recommended to commence Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT). ADT is a standard first line therapy for PCa that assists to shrink or prevent the tumour from continuing to grow...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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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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PCFA_OC_Manager
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It’s fair to say receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis, particularly the advanced incurable variety, throws your world into a spin...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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In a highly competitive field, one of the more alarming side effects of hormone therapy is a gradual decline in cognitive function. This is not ideal for anyone but is particularly suboptimal for a career writer...

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PCFA_OC_Manager
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Long-time readers of this column (stretching back, oh, what is it now, three weeks?) may recall that my own cancer self-care mantra is a simple one: Remember to take your M.E.D.S – Meditation, Exercise, Diet, Sleep. And that ticking each of these boxes each day, alongside conventional therapies, helps us withstand the rigours of cancer treatment and enhance quality of life...

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Chris_McNamara
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Community Manager

In March this year we’ll celebrate the 1st Anniversary of PCFA’s Specialist Telenursing Service, a vital lifeline that has answered thousands of calls over the past 12 months.

In 2021 the service rapidly responded to lockdowns and treatment delays, and many of you called us for help.  

As the service has grown, we have worked hard to create awareness of the support available, so that Australian men don’t suffer in silence. 

And the good news is, you can call about absolutely anything related to prostate cancer. 

As Bernie Riley, General Manager of PCFA’s Supportive Care Programs, says, “No question is too small and there are no silly questions. We are a committed team of experienced prostate cancer nurses who really just want to help you, no matter what your trouble or situation is.”

Men and women call the service for a range of reasons:

  • Information about prostate cancer
  • Understanding various treatment options
  • Incontinence and urinary issues
  • Erectile dysfunction and erectile rehabilitation
  • Relationships and sexual issues
  • Worry and uncertainty about the future
  • Managing side effects
  • Referrals to support groups and MatesConnect

In the last year, we’ve had over 1,000 people call through for support, including patients, wives, partners, sons, daughters, friends, family members, and workmates of those impacted.

“Don’t put off calling if you need advice support – no matter what you need it for,” Bernie says.

“One thing people are often hesitant to call about is their mental health, but I encourage you to call – it can make a big difference talking to someone who understands what you’re going through.

“Feeling not quite like yourself, or feeling flat, worried, sad, lost, low or anxious is all very common after a diagnosis so reach out if you need to chat.

“In addition, the nursing team can help you manage other less commonly talked about issues like sleep problems and fatigue, and provide useful information around weight gain and exercise.”

Once you’ve spoken with a telenurse they can link you with a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse in your region if you haven’t already been connected, or arrange to give you a follow up call the following week if you’d like one.

Our Telenurses are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with opening hours extended to 8pm AEDT each Wednesday. If you call us outside of these hours, simply leave a message and we’ll return your call.

The number to call is 1800 22 00 99. Remember to let your loved ones know they can call us at any time too.

 

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Chris_McNamara
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PCFA Ambassador Ian Mawson shared this blog with us, reflecting on the past 10 years since his prostate cancer diagnosis..

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Chris_McNamara
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The Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group was formed in 2008, and is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, allied health care professionals, scientists, researchers, and community representatives, all working in areas related to urogenital cancer. Their aim is to .....

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Chris_McNamara
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Approximately 25% of Australian prostate cancer patients are diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer (LRPC): approximately 5500 per year. They may be offered curative treatment options such as a radical prostatectomy (RP), radiotherapy (RT) and brachytherapy (BT), or may be managed with routine monitoring called active surveillance (AS). It is postulated that up to 50% of all prostate cancer cases do not require curative treatment up to 12 years after diagnosis, with evidence suggesting ...

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Chris_McNamara
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Active surveillance (AS) is an approach that uses a combination of PSA testing, prostate examinations, and prostate biopsies to monitor prostate cancer. Traditionally its has been advocated for those with localised very low risk and low risk stages of disease, but more recently .....

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Chris_McNamara
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This year’s meeting was held virtually from 8-12th July and in this weeks’ instalment we will highlight three major focus areas presented at the meeting:

  • Novel treatment approaches for de novo Metastatic Castrate Sensitive Prostate Cancer (mCSPC)
  • Future replacement of MRI by PSMA-PET/CT Scan for prostate cancer diagnosis
  • New androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) options.......
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Chris_McNamara
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Kerry Santoro, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse (Southern Adelaide Local Health Network) says that around 200 prostate cancer patients are diagnosed within her local health network each year, and that generally they remain in contact for a period of three years, meaning that at any one time Kerry is managing up to 600 patients on a rolling basis, consulting with .......

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Chris_McNamara
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Dr Nathalie Bock and her team from the Queensland University of Technology have developed and validated a highly reproducible microtissue-engineered human construct in the lab that comprises osteocytic and osteoblastic cells (the cells responsible for the breakdown and formation of bone), with relevant protein expression and mineral content. The mature mineralized engineered tissue are cultured for up to 12 weeks. They then add metastatic prostate cancer cells to the mineralized microtissue. This model reproduces some of the cellular alterations seen ......

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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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