Time to clear up confusion on pros and cons of prostate cancer tests

This September, Cancer Council is calling on Queenslanders to be proactive about prostate cancer, urging men at risk to talk to their GP about the pros and cons of testing.

About 32,500 men are alive today in Queensland after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and about 4000 Queensland men will be newly diagnosed this year.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift urged men to see their GP about their individual risk and options for testing.

“Men in at-risk age groups, particularly those over 50, or with a family history, need to be proactive about prostate cancer,” Ms Clift said.

“While there is no single, simple test to detect prostate cancer, it is important that men discuss their risk and the options available with a GP.

“Prostate cancer is most common in men over 50 years of age, and those with a family history have increased risk of developing the disease.

“Men with symptoms suggestive of prostate cancer should see their doctor – symptoms include difficulty or pain in passing urine, blood in urine, and passing urine more frequently than usual.”

While the five-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer has increased from 64 per cent in the 1980s to 92 per cent today, men in rural and remote areas continue to experience poorer survival rates than those in urban centres.

“Men in rural and remote areas face a higher risk of being diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer, and are less likely to survive a prostate cancer diagnosis than men in urban centres,” Ms Clift said.

“Men who live and work in regional areas need to be particularly vigilant about prostate cancer.

“It’s imperative that they see their GP or call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20 for information about their risks and options.

“Queenslanders who have questions about prostate cancer can also go to cancerqld.org.au for information on early detection and screening.”

This month is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, focusing attention on Queensland’s second most common cause of male cancer death*.

Ms Clift said men could also make healthy lifestyle changes to reduce their overall risk of cancer.

“Up to one third of all cancers are preventable through healthy lifestyle adjustments including eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake and participating in recommended screening.”

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.

For interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171

For more information, please contact:

Kim Ryan, Senior Media Advisor, Cancer Council Queensland Ph: (07) 3634 5239 or 0488 014 702

*Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer