Prostate cancer now Australia’s most common cancer

Jul 06, 2022
Over 24,000 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, according to estimates. Source: Getty

Prostate cancer has officially been predicted to overtake breast cancer to become the most common cancer diagnosed cancer in Australia.

According to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare more than 24,000 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, with medical professionals describing the news as a wake-up call for all men.

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia Chairman (PCFA), Steve Callister, said the data provided further justification for an urgent review of the nation’s Clinical Guidelines for PSA Testing.

“The fact is that Australia’s existing guidelines are now six years old and based on outdated data. We hold grave fears that they are putting men’s lives at risk, with 66 men now being diagnosed every day,” Callister said.

“The latest estimates also suggest more than 3,500 men will die from prostate cancer this year, which is a toll we can avoid if the disease is diagnosed early.”

Callister also added that the foundation had already written to the Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler, asking him to fast-track the review of the country’s current PSA Test.

Current PSA guidelines state PSA testing should stop once a man turns 70, but PCFA believes more lives could be saved if the testing was offered to those over 70.

The guidelines also do not include any reference to the new PSMA PET-CT scans which give a 27 per cent more accurate detection of where cancer has spread.

PCFA CEO Anne Savage highlighted that “the number of men being diagnosed is increasing and will see health services nationwide confronting this same crisis in a short matter of time.”

“Services simply cannot keep up with the need for treatment of newly diagnosed patients,” Savage said.

“We cannot afford to underestimate the impact this will have on our health services, knowing that prostate cancer accounts for more hospitalisations than any other type of cancer in the country.”

In some states, almost one in 10 men are waiting more than a year for a prostatectomy, with MyHospitals website data showing that 50 per cent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in NSW had to wait more than 10 weeks for surgery.

“Over 3,500 Australian men will die of prostate cancer this year. With concerted action, many of these deaths can be avoided,” Savage said.

“We hope to bring together government, health services, and patients to create a new way forward.”

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice

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