A prostate cancer specialist nurse has been welcomed at Dubbo Health Service.
The new nurse, Alicia Bell, will be part of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia's Specialist Nursing Service, working with local health care teams and the community to improve outcomes for men impacted by the disease.
Prostate cancer is the most common cause of cancer in Australian men, with about 16,700 men newly diagnosed each year.
About 3150 men die from the disease every year.
Hundreds of men in the area will benefit from the new specialist nurse in Dubbo, says PCFA chief executive officer Jeff Dunn.
"About one in five men with prostate cancer experience long-term anxiety and depression and many will struggle to cope with the challenges of diagnosis and treatment. Specialist nurses play a critical role in providing guidance, care and support," he said.
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By 2040 about 372,000 men will be living with or beyond prostate cancer in Australia, representing a 68 per cent increase from 220,000 today and the greatest number of men or women diagnosed with any single cancer.
"Of concern to the growing burden of prostate cancer on the Australian community, men with a family history of prostate cancer have double the risk of being diagnosed, and men in regional and rural areas of Australia face a 24 per cent higher risk of death," Professor Dunn said.
PCFA's director of nursing programs Sally Sara said Ms Bell would be a welcome addition.
Ms Sara said good support and connection to information and services was incredibly important in a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
"Dubbo Health Service's commitment will vastly improve the support available to local men and families impacted by the disease, giving men much greater confidence that they can navigate the challenges of prostate cancer with all the support they need," she said.
[It] will vastly improve the support available to local men and families impacted by the disease, giving men much greater confidence that they can navigate the challenges of prostate cancer...Director of nursing programs Sally Sara
Western NSW Local Health District Alan Coates Cancer Centre spokesperson Tim Williams said it was a great opportunity to receive referrals from specialists, the patients themselves and GPs.
These patients would now have the opportunity to be seen by the specialist nurse to assist them in gaining the support they need.
"Around 350 men in the local region are diagnosed with cancer each year, and many of them will need ongoing care and support in the days and months after treatment," Mr Williams said.
"We are proud to partner with Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to deliver this life-changing service for local men and families."
Both public and private patients can access the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Service.
Australia has one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world, with one in every six men likely to be diagnosed by age 85.
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