Why is this important?Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting Australian men (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). In 2017, it is estimated that more than 16,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease. The five-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer is 95 per cent.
This means there is a large group of men who have been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, who may require ongoing care and support from a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse.
These nurses provide vital information, care and support for patients and their families, as well as health care professionals within a multidisciplinary team, and improved access to specialists and services. They provide coordination of care from diagnosis onwards.
The Commonwealth support for the PCN program has been in operation since 2014 and has shown that the program benefits men living with prostate cancer, their families and carers. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer often see a range of health care professionals over a length of time, including urologists, general practitioners, radiologists and allied health staff.
There are currently 14 Commonwealth-funded PCNs across Australia with a focus on regional areas. This funding will increase this number to approximately 28 positions so that more men with cancer, and their families, receive the support and information they need. It is anticipated that up to 8,000 men with prostate cancer will be assisted by the 28 Commonwealth-funded PCNs over the next three years.