FREE Apps for Men
Some background on the designer behind the apps: Jim Duthie is a Urological & Robotic Surgeon based in Tauranga. He completed a sub-specialty Fellowship in Robotic Surgery and Complex Pelvic Oncology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne. Jim has been a cancer researcher, and is a health writer for the British Journal of Urology International, and the European Medical Journal. Outside of work he plays a Fender Stratocaster guitar and runs when he can. Jim joins the Prostrate Cancer Foundation to help as a moderator for Latest News.
If you have a problem nowadays, the answer is often “there’s an App” for that. If you have a smartphone, there seems to be an application, or “App” for every situation, from weather reports, to bus routes, to time-wasting games. Until relatively recently, there has been a prostate-cancer-shaped hole in the App store, with nothing of use for men undergoing screening or treatment for prostate cancer. With charitable donations providing the financial support, I have been able to improve this situation by creating Apps for iPhone, iPod, and iPad free of charge to the public, which I hope will make a big difference for men at risk of prostate cancer.
ADT Prostate App
This Apps is for men who are receiving hormone treatment (Androgen Deprivation Therapy; ADT) for prostate cancer. These men fall into two groups. Firstly, those men who are temporarily receiving treatment as part of radiation therapy, when the intention is to cure the cancer. These men will usually receive two to three years of ADT. The other group is men who have advanced disease (cancer that has grown beyond the prostate and cannot be cured), where the intention is to the cancer as long as possible. These men will usually stay on the treatment for life. ADT is effective in both of these scenarios and us an indispensable weapon in the arsenal against prostate cancer. Unfortunately, there can be a number of side effects from the treatment. These side effects include bone thinning, loss of muscle mass, increase in body fat, hot flashes, high cholesterol, increased risk of heart disease, forgetfulness, fatigue and depression. A great deal of relatively complex follow up is required while on the
PSA Prostate App
This App is for any man undergoing PSA screening, or treatment for prostate cancer. The idea of a “PSA Tracker” graph is not unique, but this App provides a comprehensive resource for men to keep a record of all of their treatment. PSA levels can be entered, and are presented on a graph. Any other interventions including prostate biopsies, CT, MRI, or Ultrasound scans, surgery for cancer or benign disease, radiation treatment, and hormone treatment can be entered in and will be represented by symbols on the graph that can be clicked on to give an explanation. This means that a man can look at the graph and say “That’s when my PSA went up, I had a biopsy which showed such-and-such grade of cancer in this many cores, so I had my surgery then, followed by radiation then, and maybe hormone treatment then”. Ipsen pharmaceuticals kindly donated a no-strings grant to pay for the coding of the App.
Both Apps are password protected, and you can email graphs from the PSA Manager to anyone you choose. One problem for men of increasing years is that some are not that comfortable with smartphone technology. So long as someone in the family has the technology, you can get them to download the Apps for you and keep track of things. They are very user-friendly, even for a techno-novice. Why only Apple technology? A fair question that I get asked a lot, and it comes down to cost. Apps are very expensive to have coded by a company, and even with me donating the content for free, the cost of doing both Apple and Android versions was prohibitive. If there are donors interested in funding Android versions I would love to hear from them.
These Apps are part of the new way of managing health, with the patient in the driver’s seat, controlling their information. I hope you they empower you to get great treatment and information that is expert, unbiased, and comprehensive.