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Research Blog

PCFA_OC_Manager
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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Prostate cancer is often spoken of as a couple’s disease because it can affect the partner of the person living with the diagnosis so acutely (if they have a partner).

Statistically, men with prostate cancer in long term relationships tend to do better over time than single men. It’s not hard to understand why. Another set of ears at medical appointments to help recall and process the overwhelming tide of information. A gentle reminder when tests, oncologist’s appointments or treatments might be due. The companionship. Emotional support...

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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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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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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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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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Any diagnosis of cancer can trigger a range of emotions and put one into an anxious state. These feelings may wax and wane through the various stages of the cancer journey and may persist. Wondering whether you have cancer; waiting for the results of diagnostic tests; going for treatment; dealing with the after effects of treatment and the fear of recurrence are just some of the potential triggers...

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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.