Redlands men are being urged to see their GP and request a prostate cancer blood test as soon as they hit 50.
And men with a family history of prostate cancer should begin testing from the age of 40 or 45, according to the specialists at the Redlands’ only locally-based urology practice, Bayside Urology.
Practice founder Dr Andrew Hadley and his new practice partner, Dr Andrew Strahan, spoke out to raise awareness of the disease for Men’s Health Week, which runs from June 13 –19.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer which solely affects men – and it claims around 3500 lives in Australia each year.
But if the disease is detected early, most prostate cancers can be effectively treated and managed for years and even decades, according to Dr Hadley.
“More men will die from prostate cancer each year than women from breast cancer, so this is a very common and dangerous disease,” he said.
“But the good news is that the majority of men who get prostate cancer will not die from it.
“There are often no symptoms of the disease, which is why early screening and detection of prostate cancer is so important.
“Once men hit 50 they should be getting a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test every two years, and they should start even sooner if they have a family history of the disease.
“Men’s Health Week is the perfect time to see your GP, request a test and make looking after your prostate a priority.”
Dr Hadley established Bayside Urology in 2003 and it now has more than 17,000 male and female patients on its register. Patients are seen and treated locally, with surgery performed at Mater Private Hospital Redland and more complex procedures undertaken at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane – often using the Da Vinci robotic surgery system.
Dr Strahan is now assisting with the practice’s growing caseload, having returned to Queensland after completing advanced uro-oncology fellowships in the UK and Canada.
“In most cases, prostate cancer is slow-growing and can sometimes be managed by ‘active surveillance’,” Dr Strahan said.
“Treatment has changed dramatically in recent years and it recognises that men don’t want to lose erectile function or continence.
“When treatment is required it’s as minimal as possible. With the Da Vinci system we are now able to perform keyhole surgery with faster recovery times and fewer complications.
“Patients can now go home the day following surgery, where before they needed three to five days in hospital.”
Anne-Marie Judd, Director of Clinical Services at Mater Private Hospital Redland, urged local men to follow the doctors’ advice.
“Most men with prostate cancer are able to live long and very active lives,” she said.
“Here in the Redlands, Mater and Bayside Urology are able to offer exceptional care and support for men who are diagnosed with the disease.
“But it’s so important that men are pro-active in putting their health first. If you are an older male, make sure you get a prostate cancer blood test every two years.”