The work prostate cancer specialist nurses do in Australia will be bolstered by just under $6 million in funding from the Federal Government.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) will use the renewal of funding to secure the positions of 15 full time nurses for a further three years.
PCFA chief executive associate professor Anthony Lowe said for many men their diagnosis is the first time they have given prostate cancer a thought. “Most have no understanding of the disease or treatment and it can cause a lot of fear and uncertainty,” Lowe said. “Friends and families are vital, but specialist nurses have the knowledge and skills to help men at all stages in their cancer journey: diagnosis, treatment and aftercare."
The Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program was first launched in 2012 and allows nurses to provide improved access to specialists and services, coordination of care from diagnosis onwards and continuity of care for patients throughout the entire cancer journey.
The office of minister for health Greg Hunt said the funding renewal will ensure men battling prostate cancer receive the necessary and timely coordinated care they require.
Adjunct professor Kylie Ward, chief executive of the Australian College of Nursing, said the announcement is welcome news for patients and their families.
“Prostate cancer nurses provide vital information, care and support for men and their families,” Ward said. “These specialist nurses coordinate and provide continuity of care for patients as they navigate their cancer journey.
“Continuing funding for prostate cancer nurses in urban and regional locations around Australia improves health outcomes for men directly affected and indirectly to their families and the wider community.”
Even with Government funding, PCFA said only 1-in-4 men diagnosed with prostate cancer has access to expert nursing support, with 20,000 diagnoses each year and just 28 prostate cancer specialist nurses for all of Australia.
Lowe said PCFA wants every Australian man to be able to approach prostate cancer specialist nurses to receive care. "We need to extend the program and support more men during this frightening time in their lives,” he said. “To help us in our journey, the continued support of the government and community is crucial. More men should have access to an expert nurse to walk with them every step of the way."Do you have an idea for a story?
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