Federal Government helps secure future of prostate cancer nurses


Following the announcement that cancer funding is a priority for the 2013-2014 Federal Budget, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) is delighted that $7 million is being allocated to the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program.

Federal Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek announced the additional funding this morning at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Sydney which will ultimately help to expand the specialist nursing program in the coming years.

PCFA, with the generous support of The Movember Foundation, launched the specialist service in May 2012 to address the needs of people living in metropolitan and regional Australia who have been affected by prostate cancer.

The Movember Foundation generously contributed $3.6 million to secure the program and recruit its first nurses.

The program has now placed twelve nurses in major metropolitan and regional hospitals in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Dr Anthony Lowe, Chief Executive of PCFA, commended Minister Plibersek for recognising the needs of prostate cancer survivors and delivering additional resources for Australia’s only prostate cancer specialist nursing program.

“This is a significant day for the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program. PCFA is enormously grateful to The Movember Foundation for having the vision to support the pilot program which has enabled us to lay the foundations for the service. And we applaud the Federal Government for its tremendous efforts to help sustain such an important program. This will allow the recruitment of more nurses to help meet the needs of prostate cancer patients,” said Dr Lowe.

According to PCFA’s Director, Health & Education Programs, Julie Sykes, the program has shown promising results in its first year with many families already benefiting from the free service.

“A diagnosis of prostate cancer causes significant anxiety for men and their families. Men not only face the prospect of treatment, but also may have to live with long term side effects, and face prolonged surveillance programs requiring ongoing hospital visits, sometimes involving multiple specialists. The Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses are a central point of contact to help men navigate this process.”

"We are very excited about having these much-needed additional resources to take the program to the next level. The need for expert advice and ongoing support for those affected by a cancer diagnosis is well-recognised in all types of cancer," said Mrs Sykes.

Jason Hincks, Movember’s COO, has expressed his excitement over the Federal Government’s latest contribution.

"Movember is proud to be catalytic funder of initiatives that improve the lives of men, such as the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses Program. We are delighted that the Federal Government has taken the decision to invest in the program, thereby dramatically increasing the number of men with access to such a vital service. This is a proud day for the Movember movement and reinforces the power of the humble Mo," said Mr Hincks.

For further information about the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing program or to see which hospitals are hosting specialist nurses, visit www.prostate.org.au or call 1800 22 00 99.

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