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31 January 2021

On the eve of World Cancer Day and the WA State Election, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has called on major parties to extend a lifeline to hundreds of WA men and families hit hard by prostate cancer.

The nation’s only dedicated prostate cancer charity has called for $3.6 million in capital works funding for a regional patient accommodation and support centre in Perth.

PCFA’s National Director and WA State Board Chairman, Bill Munro, said the centre would help to improve prostate cancer survival rates for regional men.

“Men in regional, rural, and remote areas face a 24 per cent higher risk of death, and 22 per cent of men diagnosed each year in WA live in country areas.

“Nearly 500 men are treated by the WA Country Health Service annually and many of them will have to travel to Perth for aspects of their treatment.”

According to the WA Cancer Registry, more than 2000 WA men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and nearly 300 will die from the disease, with more than 1 in 10 cancer deaths among men in WA caused by prostate cancer.

“Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Western Australia and the most common cancer diagnosed among WA men, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of total men’s cancer cases,” Mr Munro said.

“Of concern, the number of men diagnosed is expected to increase by up to 70 per cent between now and 2040, due to an ageing and increasing population. This could see the number diagnosed each year increase to over 3500.

“We must do more to ensure regional men – who help to power our economy – survive their disease. Key to this goal is the enablement of greater access to world leading services and support.

“A regional patient accommodation and support centre is vital and urgently needed.”

PCFA believes the centre could provide over 2000 bed nights per year for tens of thousands of regional men and their loved ones over the anticipated life of the facility.

“The Centre will accommodate regional men and carers who need to travel to Perth for prostate cancer diagnostic services and treatment,” said PCFA’s CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO.

“The proposed accommodation units will be co-located with a PCFA support centre to deliver integrated expert care, information, and community education.

“The combined facility will serve as a hub for PCFA’s services and programs in WA, enabling coordination and cross-promotion of the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Service and other essential cancer control activity in Western Australia.”

State Chair Mr Munro said the project would also create jobs in the construction industry, supporting the ongoing growth of the WA economy and employment market.

Australia has one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world, with one in every six Australian men likely to be diagnosed by age 85. World Cancer Day will take place on Thursday February 4.

CONTACT:

Anne Savage, PCFA Chief Operating Officer, 0417 709 869.