MEN on the Coffs Coast battling prostate cancer will soon have the option of receiving one-on-one support from a dedicated prostate cancer nurse.
The nurse will be based at the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute within the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
Coffs Harbour Prostate Cancer Support Group representative Bruce Robertson said it is a tough road for men with prostate cancer and this dedicated nurse would assist them in their time of need.
“I understand as much as anyone how tough it can be when you receive the diagnosis of prostate cancer,” he said.
“I was diagnosed in 2004 and I found it extremely hard to navigate information on the disease, treatment options and comprehend the possible outcomes.
“I would have loved to have the assistance of a dedicated nurse when I was going through it.
“A prostate cancer nurse would have walked me through the different health services available, the oncology unit and how to best cope with the side effects of treatment.
“This new dedicated nurse will do a great deal of good for the Coffs Harbour community and I thank the Federal Government for providing it.”
The position is being funded by a $23 million Australian government program delivered by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan made the announcement as part of National Men’s Health Week.
“A prostate cancer nurse will provide specialist nursing services to support male patients and their families during their diagnosis, treatment and recovery of prostate cancer,” Mr Conaghan said.
“I think the new nurse will make a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of men in our region, which is why I advocated strongly to receive it.
“Unfortunately one of the most linked risk factors in the development of prostate cancer in men is age, so with about one third of our population being over the age of 65 here, this position is greatly needed.”
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the Government is investing $23 million in the program through the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia over the next three years to support existing prostate cancer nurses and place specialist nurses in over 40 new locations.
“Sadly, more than 16,700 Australian men are expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year,” Mr Hunt said.
“Since 2013, this program has funded the recruitment, training and placement of prostate cancer nurses in 29 locations across the country and I am pleased this week to have announced its expansion to a further 40 locations.”
The Government is committed to improving health outcomes for men with prostate cancer through investment in Medicare Benefits Scheme medical services and pharmaceuticals through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Since 2013, the Government has also provided over $84 million in support for prostate cancer research through the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centres, the National Health and Medical Research Council and Cancer Australia.