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Research Blog

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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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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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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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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I love food. I love eating it. I love cooking it. I love shopping for it. I love planning a meal or discovering a new restaurant.

So, since I was diagnosed, on July 7, 2015, with metastatic prostate cancer, one of the most vexed questions I’ve faced is a remarkably basic one. What should I eat?

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Imagine if there was a single treatment that neatly addressed many of the side effects of prostate cancer and its treatment. A silver bullet that could improve cardio-vascular health and bone density compromised by hormone therapy, reduce fatigue, improve mental health, that might slow cancer’s progress and even assist sexual function?

What is this miracle treatment, you might ask?

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Hi, I’m Tim.

Diagnosed with stage 4, metastatic prostate cancer on July 7, 2015. PSA 120. Gleason score 9. Lesions in right femur (thigh bone) and left seventh rib. Those of you with a maths brain might have already calculated that was nearly seven years ago. In that time, I’ve had early chemotherapy with concurrent hormone therapy, targeted radiation, ongoing intermittent hormone therapy, and have undergone a TURP...

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Did you know that more than half of Australian men over the age of 45 have some form of erectile dysfunction (ED)? The risk of ED increases with age, and for men with prostate cancer, it’s a major concern.

The good news is, there are a range of options for managing ED...

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Arousal Incontinence OC.jpg
“Sexual incontinence is a broad term that encompasses climacturia (urinary incontinence at the time of orgasm) and arousal incontinence (urinary incontinence at the time of physical or psychological arousal or both).”...

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Bladder neck contracture (BNC) is also known as bladder neck stenosis or alternatively a urethral stricture (which is not technically the correct term for this condition). The prostate lies between the underneath surface of the bladder and the end of the urethra inside the pelvis. When the prostate is removed there is a gap between the opening of the bladder and the end of the urethra...

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Following a radical prostatectomy one of the potentials complications is a slight shortening of the length of the penis. This is because where the prostate is taken out a gap remains. The surgeon has to close the gap by reconnecting the urethral stump, which runs through the penis, to the bladder. Pulling the urethra internally towards the pelvis, pulls on the penis as well, potentially resulting in a relative shortening of the penis. Toussi et al and team at the Mayo Clinic in the United States have conducted a trial investigating the value of a penile traction device to assist patients with penile lengthening after surgery.

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ADT blocks the production and effect of testosterone through various mechanisms (discussed in previous blogs). The main impact of reduced testosterone is low libido (reduced desire for sexual activity). However, it has also been demonstrated that low testosterone may affect erectile function both within the penis and the spinal cord. Read more... 

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In this article, we consider the risks of prostate cancer for people who have transitioned from being assigned male at birth to female in later life, who have a prostate gland which may predispose them to prostate cancer. This may be the case for people who were born with a prostate gland and have had gender affirming surgery (GAS), as well as those who identify as female, but have not had GAS.

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The concept of intermittent androgen deprivation therapy (IADT) is well established. After a patient has been initiated on ADT for an induction period of between 6-12 months, they may then be offered a treatment holiday. The benefit of this treatment approach is to minimise treatment related side effects (such as compromised sexual function, hot flushes, depression, fatigue and cardiovascular risk) and improve quality of life. It may also ...

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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.