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Queensland prostate cancer experts to lead world’s first survivorship centre

National health experts have today announced the launch of the world’s first Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship, to be led by Queensland.

The nation’s top prostate cancer experts will lead the multi-disciplinary survivorship centre, the first of its kind in the world.

More than 10 Australian men are diagnosed with the disease every hour and around 200,000 Australian men are living with prostate cancer today.

Director and Menzies Foundation Professor of Allied Health Research at Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Professor Suzanne Chambers, said Australia’s leaders in prostate cancer survivorship would work closely to benefit the community.

“The Centre for Research Excellence will translate research into action across four main themes for the benefit of men diagnosed,” Prof Chambers said.

“We will examine psychosocial and psychosexual health, exercise medicine, the economic costs of prostate cancer and geographic inequalities in prostate cancer outcomes.

“Our work will deliver new knowledge and improvements in health services and research that will be meaningful and enduring for all men diagnosed.

“At a national level, efforts to address the individual and community costs of prostate cancer have failed to have lasting impact.

“Our Centre for Research Excellence provides a unique and crucial pathway to focus those efforts at a national level to help all men with the disease.”

Cancer Council Queensland CEO and Chief Investigator on the Centre for Research Excellence, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, said the approach would have broader application to chronic disease in men, and to the health of regional and rural Australians.

“10 Australian men are told every hour that they have prostate cancer – three of these will have clinically high distress and long-term unmet psychological needs,” Prof Dunn said.

“Most of these men will experience sexual morbidity and half of these men will have long-term unmet sexual support needs.

“Only two of these 10 men will be sufficiently physically active. Eight will be overweight or obese.

“Through the survivorship centre, we will increase capacity in preparation for future challenges, with an ever-increasing cohort of men with prostate cancer in our community.

“We will target critical problems in survivorship after prostate cancer.”

Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia CEO Anthony Lowe said around 20,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in Australia.

“Survival for prostate cancer has never been higher – but many men are not living well with the disease,” Associate Professor Lowe said.

“Research experts will address unmet needs and health service gaps in prostate cancer nationally and internationally through this survivorship centre.

“We are proud to see the world’s first Centre for Research Excellence established in Queensland, supporting evidence-based policy and practice in prostate cancer survivorship care.”

Prostate cancer prevalence has increased by 75 per cent in Australia over the past decade. One in nine Australian men aged 65 and over is a prostate cancer survivor.

The Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship will be established thanks to funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, with chief investigators from Cancer Council, Griffith University, Edith Cowan University, Monash University, University of Adelaide and UQ.

The NHMRC funding grant totals $2,498,842 and runs from 2016 until 2020.

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