The Prostate Cancer Foundation has a significant role in promoting public awareness of this disease. With over 3000 New Zealand men being diagnosed each year, and with early detection leading to better outcomes, it is important that men are aware of the signs of potential disease and also of the checking and screening tests that are available from their doctor.
Each year Blue September has a major focus on promoting awareness of prostate cancer. We encourage businesses and community groups to join in with their own promotions as part of this awareness campaign.
Throughout New Zealand more than 25 support groups meet with the primary purpose of supporting men, and their partners and families, who are dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. These groups are co-ordinated, mainly by trained volunteers and meet monthly, or bi-monthly, and provide opportunity for discussion and input from professionals involved with prostate cancer patients.
Our 0800 4Prostate (0800 477 678) Helpline is available to those who have questions and concerns about any matters related to prostate cancer. Often these calls will be referred to a person with some experience of prostate cancer or will provide information on where professional advice may be available.
One of the main goals of PCF is to educate people about prostate problems and prostate cancer in particular. We know that those diagnosed with prostate cancer have special needs. We know because “we have been there”!
Men with prostate cancer have to make vitally important decisions about types of treatment. They may also have to make important choices and adjustments to enjoy a full life. To do this they need relevant and current information to help them make the decision that is best for them. It is not our role to give medical advice, but we will provide the most appropriate information available.
There are many different treatments for prostate disease and people need information about their choices so they can make decisions that are best for them. Our role is to help those recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, and survivors of prostate cancer, to lead productive and full lives through shared counseling and discussions.
Each year the Foundation commits significant funds to New Zealand based research on finding better diagnosis and treatment options for prostate cancer. Currently two research projects are being funded.
Dr Sarah Young at University of Otago is currently working on a research project to harness the immune system to fight prostate cancer by developing a novel vaccine.
This research project has two main goals:
- To determine the best strategy to attach pieces of the prostate cancer to the vaccine
- To identify unique peptides that are only expressed in the cancer and make a ‘library’ of these
Finally the team will test the efficacy of our vaccine in a prostate cancer model.
Dr Remy Lim, a Radiologist at Mercy Radiology in Auckland is leading a team looking at the use of the new PSMA PET/CT scanning procedure in pre-operative staging of high risk patients. They are researching how this test could potentially change the management or alter surgical approach to men with potential metastatic disease and correlating PET findings with resected nodal specimens. This is a significant research project as there has not been research on this in New Zealand as the equipment was only recently installed in late 2015.
To apply for a research grant please contact Graeme Woodside before 30 November.
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