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In Australia, Men's Health Week (14 – 23 June) provides a platform for challenging and debating key issues in men's health and to raise the profile of men, their health outcomes and health needs around the country.
Data collected from 2010 found men in this country have a life expectancy of 78.0 years while women could expect to live to 82.3 years old.
One of the leading diseases in men is prostate cancer, which is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men in Australia and the third most common cause of cancer death.
Dr Sam Jones is a Mater Oncologist and said about 19 000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year in Australia.
“One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85. It is more common in older men, with over 63 per cent of cases diagnosed in men over 65 years of age,” Dr Jones said.
“Unfortunately, early prostate cancer has few symptoms however advanced cancer can cause, frequent urination, pain while urinating, blood in the urine or semen, a weak stream, pain in the back or pelvis and weak legs or feet.
“Family history and age are the two biggest risk factors, it’s important for men over 50 to have their prostate checked by their GP and be aware of the symptoms.”
Peter was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 66 four years’ ago and has been treated at Mater Private Hospital Springfield under Dr Jones.
“I had to have radiation, chemotherapy and surgery and I only had one rejection during my treatment which was very good,” Peter said.
“I still come into the hospital every six weeks for my injections and to see Dr Jones, health wise I am doing ok, I get tired very easily.
“I love coming to Springfield for treatment, the clinical teams are so professional, and they take such good care of me. It can be a daunting experience, but they make me feel so at ease.”
Dr Jones said it was important for me to stay on top of their healthcare appointments and if they experience symptoms should see their GP first.
“Their GP would then refer to a Urologist for a specialist opinion if there were any concerning findings. The management of advanced prostate cancer can involve a team of multiple specialists including Surgeons, Medical Oncologists, and Radiation Oncologists,” Dr Jones said.
“If caught early, survival from prostate cancer is very high. Systemic treatments have improved greatly in the last decade. I have several gentlemen who I treat with advanced disease who are living many years after the diagnosis with good quality of life.”
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